Friday, December 21, 2012

Johnny Walker challenges Mastercard for worst attempt at golf commericial

With their most recent commercial, Johnny Walker put up a good challenge to Mastercard for the worst  ever golfcentric commercial for a non-golf industry product. 

In 2007, Mastercard hit us with the "Cleveland loft wedge" slip up. This happened during one of their over 1000 Priceless commercials they released between 2002 and 2010. That slip up happened after the marketing team's gunner, a 12 handicap that plays a weekly nine hole league, said the L on the bottom of the wedge stands for loft. Now, Johnny Walker is challenging by not even having the slightest clue on how golf clubs are sold.

He could just text you back tomorrow
He could just call and make sure you got home alright
And you could just give him a pitching wedge this year


This commercial has pulsed relentlessly on Golf Channel for the last month or so, which is ironic because some would call it an anti-golf commercial as it attempts to dissuade women from purchasing a golf club for their man for Christmas; instead buy him some whiskey. But, Johnny Walker can't hold golf down. Like the village idiot after drinking a bottle of whiskey, Johnny Walker managed fumble around and fall flat on their face.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Captures and Captions: Bet you even got a little bit of weirdness in you

PUTTING LIKE A WEIRDO: In 1920, they called it "Diegeling" named after Leo Diegel (pictured). This first ever belly putter would not be legal under 14-1b

DROPPING THE ARM-ANCHOR: The first "new" arm-anchoring siting since they announced the proposed rule change. We couldn't identify this Champions Tour, Matt Kuchar wannabee, so if any readers know who that man is, please comment. What's weird is if that shaft creeps above his elbow joint, BAM ... two stroke penalty. 

WHAT'S WEIRDER: A bird trying to steal your golf ball, or a golf ball that looks like a mini soccer ball? This made Golf Channel's picks of the week, but there was no mention of the markings on the ball. This could be the first sign that the days of the boring white ball might be limited. Before this goes too far, the USGA should probably write a rule now prohibiting the use of any ball that isn't plain white

BELLY LAUGHS: This weird looking club would be illegal to adjust while on the course, yet it's unlikely someone who actually purchased this would care about the rules. Golfers first lol'd about how stupid this club was 15 years ago during it's first SkyMall tour. Now, it's hard to argue it will not be long before a reputable company releases irons with adjustable lofts. Stay tuned for a detailed post about adjustable irons later this week. Until then, keep the greens ablaze.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Arm-Lock: Let us count the ways

With Odyssey's anticipated release of the "Arm-Lock" putter, set to drop 01/15/2013, anchoring a putter to one's forearm might be the next big thing. But, all arm-locking isn't the same, so let us count the ways:

BERNHARD LANGER ARM-LOCK: Bernhard Langer shows the yips who's boss by using a modified arm-lock where he grabs his left arm. This has since been named the "Bernhard Langer grip."

MATT KUCHAR ARM-LOCK 1: Kooch, pictured here at the Northern Trust Open, uses a reverse-overlap putting grip with the butt end of the club extended up his lead forearm. This is the same grip he uses today.

MATT KUCHAR ARM-LOCK 2: Kooch using a lead-hand-low grip with the shaft anchored well up the forearm. 

LEAD-HAND-LOW ARM-LOCK: Pictured here is a standard lead-hand-low putting grip, the most subtle way of arm-locking. Since a golfer pushes the fingers of the trailing hand, into the forearm/wrist, this is considered an arm -anchor. Since this grip is similar by definition to the "Kuchar method," many believe that lead-hand-low opened the door to longer putters anchoring higher up the forearm.

SHAWN MICHAELS RECEIVING AN ARM-LOCK: Wrestler Shawn Michaels shows off his arm locked in the monstrous bicep of another wrestler. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

It's not time to drop anchor just yet

A not so new way to blaze the greens

The anchoring era is over ... Or is it? Now that rule 14-1b smacked the golf world upside the head harder than Woody Austin after a really bad putt, a new era of anchoring may be upon us. This era, led by none other than 2012 Players Champion, Matt Kuchar, is saying goodbye to belly-anchoring and hello to forearm-anchoring.

Kuchar started employing forearm-anchoring beginning with the 2012 season where he finished 25th on the PGA Tour in strokes gained putting. Compare that to the 2011 season when he was using a belly putter to finish 26th in strokes gained putting. Obviously, the man affectionately known as Kuch, could probably putt well with a meatball attached to the end of a wet noodle, so stats don't much matter here. 

What does matter is golfers, both professional and amateur, finding a method that will help them overcome the yips. The yips are a motor function problem, caused by fear of missing a putt, that results in a involuntary twitch at or near the moment the putter impacts the ball. By many accounts, no amount of practice can save a golfer suffering from this affliction. A golfer could make 200 in a row from two feet on the practice green, then completely miss the hole on their first two footer of a real round. The yips have affected famous golfers throughout history including: Old Tom Morris, Harry Vardon, Johnny Miller and most famously Bernhard Langer.

Langer has had the most documented case of the yips in golfing history and has beat it on numerous occasions. If the yips are a disease, then anchoring (usually a broomstick putter) is the cure. This rule affects the yipping community, some say as high as 25% of total golfers, more than anyone else. The long putter wasn't the first cure that worked for Langer though. Langer first beat the yips using a forearm-anchoring technique, somewhat similar to the one Kuchar uses.

Although Odyssey Golf introduced a new line of putters set to release on 1/15/13 called "Arm-Lock," they aren't the first putter company to capitalize on this putting method. Bobby Grace Putters, a putter maker who has designed for both Cobra and MacGregor, has an "Arm-Anchor" line out now. Odyssey says their "Arm-Lock" will have a loft of 7 degrees to make of for the increased shaft lean employed by this method. Bobby Grace employs a bulged face, which creates variable loft. He describes the construction in a question that was reposted on GolfWRX:

"Your loft question is a good one. Our putters do not have loft, they all have a radial face which works well with the arm putter. What we do is to set up the putter with the shaft angle in a forward lean.  This does not change the angle of our face.  The radial remains the same but the shaft is completely different.  If you use it as a belly putter it will look about 5 degrees hooked."

For this reason, anchoring your belly putter to your forearm may not work.

If you've found you've beat your yips senseless with an anchor, you might not want to release that anchor from your ship yet, just move it to a different spot. Or ... Claw it to death. Until next time ... Keep the greens ablaze

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Star “Sesame Street” actor Count von Count died of natural causes Friday. The cast and crew of “Sesame Street,” released the following statement in memoriam: “A member of the ‘Sesame Street’ family for more than 40 years, he will forever be in our hearts and remembered for the artistry in his puppetry, his music, and the laughter he brought to children worldwide…”

Golfer/Commentator David Feherty, who has long been accused of looking exactly like Count remembered the good times in a recent interview ... "One couldn't count the number of times von Count and I pulled the old switcharoo. I'd give him the golfing groupies and he'd give me the acting groupies. This was a good deal for me except I could always count on him to give me the sloppy seconds."

This satire has been brought to you by The Green Blazer. RIP Jerry Nelson, voice of Count von Count.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Range Drill: You only get one shot, Do not miss your chance to ...

Thanks to 2bitCC_Romeo for providing The Green Blazer with this great exercise for simulating first tee pressure ... Enjoy

"You only get one shot do not miss your chance to blow, this opportunity comes once in a bucket ... Yo! "

Golfers hate to end a range session on a bad shot. This is why you see many folks scurrying into the line of fire in order to pick up a couple more nuggets to end their session on a high note. We've found a great drill that actually uses this innate tendency to simulate real course pressure. 

Unless you're playing at a private club or a top notch public, a golfer's typical range bucket will consist of about 20% of golf balls that are nearly unhittable. Most golfers hit these without a thought while the savvier bunch warms up with them using a less than full swing. If you're looking to get the feel of first tee gitters, try this drill:

First separate your good balls from you bad ones before you begin your session. Start by going through your normal range routine, hitting only the good balls. Do this until you are left with only one good ball left. Make sure you have the utmost confidence in this ball. It should be among the shiniest in the bucket, so depending on the dumpiness of your range it might not be that shinny, but do your best.

Then, switch to your sand wedge and hit the torn up balls using only your half swing. This will help take you out of full swing mode.

Finally, tee up that final shinny ball for one good swing with your driver. Before you start your routine, you've already made up your mind that you're not going to be range diving for one or two more. Your going to hit the shot and leave, regardless of where it goes. Picture your shot, complete your preshot routine, and go.

This drill will help get you into the realization that on the course, you only get one chance. This is something easily forgotten when robotically hitting ball after ball. 

If the driving range charges you a dollar to putt, it's safe to assume that at least 20% of the golf balls will produce a draw-fade. (A shot that starts off with hook spin but by the time it's on its descent, the nearly dimpleless service stops the spin and the ball falls the other direction).

Monday, August 13, 2012

B-Roll The Golf Channel a Cigarette

The Golf Channel ran a lengthy package Wednesday thoroughly expounding the long putter on Live From the PGA Championship. The piece was well detailed and showed myriad player reactions ranging from stuffy snob Monty denouncing it, to Tim Clark hinting that he would file a lawsuit for lost revenue if the putter was banned.

Golf Channel's abundant b-rolls usually roll by without the viewer giving them any thought. But, Wednesday one stood out:

Is that a Camel?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A history lesson for -- Allan Robertson, Old Tom Morris, and the death of the feathery

Recently has adopted an actor to play Old Tom Morris and act as a cover boy to their new marketing ploy. The TV commercials have various skits showing Old Tom playing the standard time traveler role, acting ignorant to the ways of modern day life.

He has various lines like, "Just a stone's throw from my wee stone house" and "I have yet to engage in a round of smacking the feathery."

It's crap. And thus ...

Tales from the Green Blazer Corps presents

Allan Robertson, Old Tom Morris, and the death of the feathery 

Before the time when the Green Blazer was the most sought after coat in the game of golf, it was the Red Jackets of St. Andrews that ruled the game.

Since its official inception as a golf club in 1754, all St. Andrews members donned red blazers with shiny brass buttons. The early Red Jackets were an entitled bunch of bureaucrats that trolled the links cursing at caddies, drinking whiskey and smoking tobacco from a pipe. They were a rude gang that the greatest golfer in Scotland, Old Tom Morris, did not take kindly to.

Old Tom did intend to make a profit off the red blazer crew, though, albeit in a much different way than golfnow is currently trying to make a profit off Old Tom. You see, Old Tom was in the club and ball-making business, and he had a shop in the town of St. Andrews. He had learned the trade from one of the most respected feathery makers in all of Scotland, Allan Robertson. Robertson was the first golfer ever known to ever break 80 for eighteen holes and was the best golfer in Scotland for much of his time. Robertson taught Old Tom everything he knew about golf, how to play it and how to profit from it.

After wood balls and before the gutta-percha, the golf ball of choice was a feathery. Featheries consisted of a leather casing crammed with goose feathers, which were softened by boiling. The ball was then knocked into shape and painted white.Ro

Stuffing a feathery wasn't an easy task. Robertson would tell young ball stuffers a likely true tale about a man dying after impaling himself when he slipped with all his body weight on a tool that stuffed the feathers into the leather casing. Morris worked at Robertson's shop as a young lad making featheries and fixing clubs.

Around 1850, the gutta-percha ball made its way to the home of golf. Gutta-percha is a kind of tree sap which golf ball makers would process and let harden in a ball shape before adding dimples to the surface. Allan Robertson detested the new golf ball and was nothing short of vehement in his support of the original feathery. Robertson even bought as many gutties as he could at one time only to set them ablaze in an attempt to keep the balls from reaching the public. 

One day when Old Tom was playing golf he ran out of golf balls and ask a playing partner if he could have one of theirs. They handed Tom a guttie, which he played for the remainder of the round. However when Allan caught wind that Tom had used a guttie, he denounced his friend and protege. The two had a falling out and Tom soon moved away to Prestwick to work at their club. Tom would eventually set up a shop making his own gutties, and selling them to the red blazers. It took a while, but even Allan gave into the guttie as he eventually had a guttie shop of his own. Recently a rare Robertson feathery sold at auction for $19,581. 

So what's the history lesson to GolfNow depicts a version of Old Tom Morris that is at minimum 50-years-old, so he would not be "engaging in a round of smacking the feathery" and rather would be "engaging in a round of smacking a guttie."

Fake Old Tom Morris from the commercials is looking glum because he hasn't yet engaged in a round of smacking a gutta-percha.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The UPSCup cometh ...

Poor FedEx. They're trying so hard with the whole social media thing. They've got a great opportunity to really promote their business with some promotional-yet-fun status updates, they've done a good job training their employees to like said updates when they post them, they've got their page tailored in a way that you cannot post complaints to their wall, but they just can't get around the damn comments! This week, all they wanted to do is write a harmless little Facebook post to plug their golf club shipping service, and they were bombarded with 85 complaints from angry FedEx users. 

Among the highlights:

Eric Linneman Ship clubs with FedEx? Not after you destroyed my prints last week folding in half a box that was clearly labeled "DO NOT FOLD".
Steve Phillips You can ship your golf clubs by FedEx. They may not get there on time, but they may get there eventually after they have sent them back to where they came from just for fun
Eva ELisabeth I don't care about golf. I want my package. Last time the package was left with my neighbor & I'm not neighborly.
Sam Shaw I wouldn't trust them with my golf clubs after this experience....I am still waiting, they now want me to stay home from work another full day
Becca Slatten i had to go pick up my packages!!! after ur driver told me "fuck u bitch"
Jon Pare Playing a little golf. Hopefully you're better at that than scheduling pick ups that never happen. FedEx sucks big time!

Amid a virtual torrent of negative feedback regarding bad service, FedEx is still using a portion of their limited resources to keep up a Facebook page. The page is routinely bombarded with a virtual torrent of negative feedback. 
So why, you may ask, are these people using FedEx if they're so disappointed with their service? A common theme is reflected in the comments to the golf club shipping post:

Azra Skye Freas I ususlly deal with UPS but the company I ordered it from goes through Fedex.
Janet Moran UPS is the better company but some of the time I don't have a choice due to the company from which I order.

A few savvy commenters were able to drive right to the heart of the issue. 

Alex Pelling How can FedEx monitor this site and take them selves seriously???
Keith Kerrigan How this organization is a $43 billion dollar company is beyond me.

And the funny thing is, every comment seen here came from just this one simple post about golf club shipping. Poor FedEx deals with hundreds of complaint comments from hundreds of different users every time they update their status. Between last year's FedEx driver caught on tape fiasco (which is up to nearly 9M views on youtube) and what we're seeing on their Facebook page, what we now know as the FedExCup will be the UPSCup in the time it takes them to make an overnight delivery. 

... Meaning, there's still plenty of time for FedEx to turn it around. 

Alex Pelling Iam 3 weeks into waiting for a guarenteed 3 day delivery!