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