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News & Tours

Tiger Woods is opening a new restaurant and it has a really long name

Tiger Woods might have his own restaurant before he has his own golf course.

Allied Capital & Development of South Florida made the announcement through a press release on Tuesday. The Woods Jupiter: Sports and Dining Club (doesn't really flow off the tongue, does it?) will be coming to Harbourside Place, the name of Jupiter, Fl.'s new downtown development, as early as the first quarter of 2015.

The Grind: A divided U.S. and a pregnant Paulina

The Woods Jupiter: Sports and Dining Club, or TWJS&DC for short, is still being planned, but the original design had indoor/outdoor seating and a 5,900 square foot layout -- about the size of an average green on a PGA Tour course.

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Tiger cooking with celebrity chef Bobby Flay in 2006.

"I've been watching Harbourside Place's development since it broke ground more than two years ago, and know that it is the perfect location for my sports and dining club," Woods said. "I look forward to enjoying my restaurant as much as I hope the public will."

And how does the new restauranteur picture his first venture into food?

"I envision a place where people can meet friends, watch sports on TV and enjoy a great meal," Woods said. "I wanted to build it locally where I live and where it could help support the community."

No word on the menu yet, but we're not expecting it to be overly complicated like the restaurant's name. At the champions dinner before the 1998 Masters, Woods famously served cheeseburgers and milkshakes.

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Business

Get ready for Mickelson National Golf Club

Now that the Ryder Cup is behind him (save for the Tom Watson controversy), it’s back to the drawing board, more or less, for Phil Mickelson: The design of a golf course that will carry his name.

Mickelson National Golf Club of Canada is his latest design project, in rolling terrain west of the city of Calgary and scheduled to open in 2017.

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The project began seven years ago and was to be a Johnny Miller design, when a downturn in the economy put the project on hold.

“When we kickstarted it again, I thought, ‘If I can be associated with one individual or brand, who would it be?’” Barry Ehlert, managing partner of the Windmill Golf Group, said. “Phil Mickelson was the first name to come to mind, not just for his design work, but what he brings to golf. He was my first call.

“What you see on television with Phil is what you get. Everybody likes Phil. That’s how he came across when we met face to face. It was a friendly, engaging, easy conversation to have with him. After quite a long time getting to know them and them getting to know us, it seemed like a perfect fit for both of us.”

The course originally was going to be known as Copithorne Club, named for the original landowners of the property. But people had trouble spelling Copithorne, Ehlert said, which made it problematic on the branding front.

“We thought it would be much easier having a name that people could find,” Ehlert said. “We were talking to Phil’s team and said, ‘what if he was Phil’s name associated with it?’ They contemplated it and agreed to it. We believe there will only be one Mickelson National in Canada.” Or likely anywhere else, for that matter.

The course will be built in anticipation of the Canadian Open being played there one day. “We’d love to do that,” Ehlert said. “Calgary has never had a PGA Tour event. The Canadian Open has never been to Calgary. But we know Calgary would support it. Probably all of Albert would support it.”

Related: Why does Phil want to be a Rancho Santa Fe country club?

Mickelson has not yet seen the property — the course layout shown above, measuring nearly 8,000 yards (the altitude is 3,500 to 4,000 feet), loosely follows the original routing — but is expected to travel to Calgary in the next month to get his first look. Meanwhile, his design team has visited the property on a couple of occasions.

“We’re not set on 8,000 yards,” Ehlert said. “When Phil gets on site, cit ould end up being 7,600 yards. The original routing ended up being almost 8,000 yards. But whether it’s 7,600, 7,700 or 7.800 yards, whatever it is, first and foremost it will be a course that the members play every day.”

Mickelson Design includes Whisper Rock Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., a renovation of the North Course at Torrey Pines, and two courses in China.

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News & Tours

If you're at work right now, you should probably try to replicate this office trick shot

It all depends if your boss is a golfer. If he (or she) is, then maybe you should try this out. It looks pretty difficult to pull off -- and by pretty, I mean very -- but if you do, surely there's a promotion waiting for you afterwards.

 

We tried office golf once. Needless to say, it didn't go so well.

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News & Tours

The Grind: A dejected/divided Team USA, a pregnant Paulina, and golfers in kilts

Welcome to another edition of The Grind, where unlike a lot of these other second-guessers, we know we would have been a great Ryder Cup captain last week. Why? Because we stayed at a Holiday Inn Express in Scotland. And look, we can walk through the tunnel to the first tee at Gleneagles waving to the crowd and wearing an earpiece, too.

blog-captain-myers-0930.jpgSeriously, with all the talk about "going in a different direction" at the next Ryder Cup, we'll throw our resume into the mix (four-handicap at golf, scratch at ping-pong, and an 8-time major attendee). But while the PGA of America ponders this important decision, let's get caught up on a busy week.

WE'RE BUYING

Team Europe: These guys are awesome. From big-time shots to clutch putts (doesn't it seem like they make EVERYTHING?), the Europeans extended their remarkable run at the Ryder Cup, drubbing the U.S. for their eighth win in 10 tries. As usual, their success was based on play by stars like Justin Rose (how many birdies did he make last week? 100?) and Rory McIlroy (poor Rickie Fowler), but also by unheralded players. Jamie Donaldson went 3-1 and clinched the cup with "the shot of his life." He then gave this drunk interview the next morning while wearing a yellow hoodie.

Again, these guys are awesome.

Related: Pictures of PGA Tour wives and girlfriends

Paul McGinley: No big-time resume? No problem. McGinley became the latest non-major winner to lead Europe to victory in golf's major team event. We're under the belief that the role of Ryder Cup captain is usually overblown, but it's hard to say that both team leaders didn't play critical roles this year.

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Ryder Cup rookies: It wasn't all bad for the U.S., which may have found a juggernaut pairing for the future in Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth. The duo went 2-0-1 together and Reed also won his singles match, while alienating the entire European continent. And Jimmy Walker went 1-1-3, meaning the three first-timers were the three leading point earners for the Americans.

Ryder Cup press conferences: The most exciting parts of the week at Gleneagles came in the media center. First, you had Phil Mickelson tweaking Team Europe with the "we don't litigate against each other" line. Then you had Sergio Garcia responding to Nick Faldo's claims he was "useless" in 2008. And, of course, there was Mickelson singing the praises of Paul Azinger in front of Tom Watson on Sunday, leading to the most awkward press conference in history. Say what you will about Phil's timing, but he gave everyone something to talk about other than another U.S. loss, and his thoughts could end up helping the U.S. turn things around for next time.

WE'RE SELLING

Team USA: Tom Watson took a lot of heat, the bottom line is outside of the rookies, no one played particularly well. Jim Furyk, Bubba Watson, Matt Kuchar and Zach Johnson combined to go 2-11-1. Tough to win when you're top guns -- Furyk, Watson and Kuchar were the lone three Americans ranked in the top 10 of the OWGR coming into the week -- aren't contributing.

Tom Watson: While the European players constantly sung the praises of Paul McGinley, the only times it seemed like the U.S. players were talking about their captain was when they were discussing why they weren't playing. Watson's old-school approach may have worked in an earlier era, but his players -- most noticeably, Mickelson -- didn't seem to appreciate the lack of communication in the decision-making process.

Related: 9 reasons the U.S. lost the Ryder Cup

Radio interviews from the car: An Australian golf analyst was driving while giving his thoughts on the Ryder Cup. It did not end well. Fortunately, a Mercedes was the only thing that got hurt.

Gambling in airports: I was so excited to see a casino in the Amsterdam airport during a layover. As I walked out less than five minutes later after a blackjack beatdown, I wasn't as excited. Airport rules were that the dealer wins on a push, so it probably wasn't the wisest choice to gamble there. Hey, at least I didn't have to worry about exchanging any foreign currency when I got back.

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ON TAP

There is NO PGA Tour event this week. Take a deep breath and relax, we've finally entered the off-season!

Related: 13 things that only happen at the Ryder Cup

Random tournament fact: Don't get too comfortable. The new season begins next week.

RANDOM PROP BETS OF THE WEEK

-- Sergio Garcia will invite Nick Faldo to his wedding: 1 million-to-1 odds

Related: 15 signs you watch too much golf on TV

-- Tom Watson will captain the U.S. again: 10 million-to-1 odds

-- The U.S. will use some sort of "pod" system in 2016: LOCK

WHO WORE IT BETTER?

Bubba and Rickie? Or Rory?

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In related news, Rory is ripped. The guy looks just like the mannequins in the merchandise shop, which for some reason had been stripped down by Sunday. . .

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PHOTO OF THE WEEK

MJ with MAJ. Need we say more?

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WAG PHOTO OF THE WEEK

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WAGs were all over the Ryder Cup last week. Here, Dowd Simpson comforts her husband, Webb, after his ugly loss on Friday at the Ryder Cup. Either that, or she was offering her condolences on him having to wear that sweater.

NON-RYDER CUP PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Last week, I put photos, OK, a lot of photos in this column of the Back9Network's new female on-air talent, including the infamous Miss Teen South Carolina from 2007. Well, on-air male talent, Shane Bacon, responded with this.

See? We aim to please both our male and female readers.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"All this winning isn't good for my health." -- Rory "Jaeger" McIlroy as he sipped celebratory champagne.

VIRAL VIDEO OF THE WEEK

This comes courtesy of "The Guardians of the Ryder Cup," a group that comes up with player theme songs for Team Europe and was front and center on the first tee at Gleneagles leading the crowd in a singalong all week. There were so many good ones (we ranked the top 5), but this is the best. "Bjorn Beat The USA"? Classic.

NON-RYDER CUP VIRAL VIDEO OF THE WEEK

How about a 17-year-old striking a walk-off albatross? At Pebble Beach? With Lee Janzen as a partner? Future Stanford golfer Christopher Meyers did just that on Sunday, holing a 4-iron from 204 yards on Pebble's famed 18th to win the pro-junior portion of the Nature Valley First Tee Open. Amazing.

THIS WEEK IN DUSTIN JOHNSON-PAULINA GRETZKY PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION

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OMG this is really happening?!!! We're very excited for the couple, but did they have to announce the news of the week year while we were flying over the Atlantic Ocean? Thanks a lot, guys.

THIS WEEK IN LINDSEY VONN MAKING US LOOK BAD WITH HER TRAINING

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Lindsey simply captioned this one, "#pullups." #showoff

THIS AND THAT

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Apparently, Paul McGinley had control over European Tour tee times leading up to the Ryder Cup. This guy thought of everything! . . . On the Champions Tour, John Cook won the individual portion of the Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach. He did not have a walk-off albatross. . . . Padraig Harrington said he is "less keen" for the European Ryder Cup captain job in 2016. Hmm. Does he want to captain for the U.S.? Unfortunately, I found out that whole staying at a Holiday Inn Express thing doesn't work when it comes to playing the bagpipes. But you can't question my effort!

RANDOM QUESTIONS TO PONDER

Could a combined USA/World Team beat Team Europe?

Has Scotland voted yet on opening up a Chili's?

Is Michael Jordan an American golf curse?

-- Alex Myers is an Associate Editor for GolfDigest.com. Feel free to email him and please follow him on Twitter since he has self-esteem issues.

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My Usual Game

Two Ryder Cup shots you didn't see on TV

You didn't see them because they happened in a different Ryder Cup, the one the Sunday Morning Group held while the American tour stars were getting whupped in Scotland. Twenty-four guys signed up in advance, and Corey, our pro, divided us into two teams. The youngest guy in the field didn’t show, apparently because he had met someone interesting in a bar the night before. Corey took his place, after persuading his mother, our club’s immediate past president, to watch the golf shop for him. (The guy who didn’t show made a big mistake, in my opinion. The time to establish golf in a romantic relationship is at the beginning, before the non-playing party has had time to develop a case.)

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We played six four-ball matches, and each was worth a point. We also had our normal Sunday-morning skins and the Money Hole -- something the PGA of America ought to consider for 2016. Tom Watson should listen up, too, because in our matches the American team won, 4-2. That’s the only time in history, I’m pretty sure, that an SMG special event has failed to predict the outcome of whatever real thing it was pretending to be. (In the past, we've successfully called two national elections and a Super Bowl.)

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Before I get to the two shots that weren’t shown on TV, I’d like to make two general observations about the other Ryder Cup:

1. What is the source of Ryder Cup Europe’s pathological golf-course selections? In the sixties and seventies, the trans-Atlantic side of the contest was held exclusively on Open courses: Royal Lytham & St. Annes, Royal Birkdale, and Muirfield -- an over-reliance on England, granted, but otherwise impeccable. Since then, the thinking has apparently been that crummy venues deserve international exposure, too. The worst is the Belfry, also in England, which has hosted the matches four times -- more than any other course in history. The Belfry has just two good holes, the ninth and the eighteenth, and most matches don’t reach the eighteenth. This year’s course, at Gleneagles, was in the works when I first played golf in Scotland, in the early 1990s. At that time, the Scots had seemingly decided that the way to attract American golfers was to hire Jack Nicklaus to build something that would remind them of Florida, cart paths included. Somebody, please, wake up the people in charge. The PGA Centenary Course, as Nicklaus’s creation is now known, isn’t even the best course at Gleneagles.

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2. There’s been lots of angry speculation about the reasons for this year’s American defeat, but no one, so far as I know, has hit on the real explanation: the extraordinarily annoying pre-shot routines of Jim Furyk and Keegan Bradley. In TV broadcasts of regular tour events, producers have become adept at keeping the cameras away from those two until they’re almost ready to make a real stroke. During the Ryder Cup, though, so little actual golf is under way at any moment that they had no choice but to make us watch full sequences -- all the tics and twirls and feints and bird peeks and pocket scrunches and everything else. True, we were spared Furyk's 5-Hour Energy wardrobe, and thank goodness for that. But the other stuff was increasingly infuriating, and by Saturday afternoon (I’m guessing) so many U.S. TV watchers were mentally rooting against Furyk and Bradley that the cosmic tide irretrievably turned. Those two golfers, between them, won two points and lost four; turn those Ls to Ws, and it’s a blowout the other way

Now, back to the other Ryder Cup. The two shots you haven’t seen were both hit by Doug, who was my partner. In each case, he went on to triple- or even quadruple-bogey the hole. But that was OK because I had him covered.

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Instruction

Make The Turn #30: 50-Yard Flag Breaker

Nothing is dicier than those delicate in between shots inside of 100 yards. This is primarily due to the fact that it's difficult to accurately control distance when forced to make less than a full golf swing. If you look at "golf", you could argue that playing a complete game really consists of being able to effectively master multiples games. To break this down you could say that golf consists of a Power Game, Finesse Game, Putting Game, Mental Game and Physical Game. Win the battle of each game and it's pretty much a guarantee you're one heck of a player.

As it relates to the power game, the attitude is basically to hit it as far as you can, with a "full" range of motion with any given club. Here you're getting multiple distances out of one basic swing due to the fact you have 13 or so interchangeable clubs at your disposal. As you move inside of full swing range, distance control becomes increasingly more difficult, as now clubs are limited and swing length must become more variable.

Understanding how to answer this unique challenge associated with short-range "finesse" shots is what made Dave Pelz a valuable asset for any player looking to improve their wedge game. Not only did Dave have a unique perspective on how to coach the short-game as a "game" unto itself, he's also responsible for creating a movement that encouraged coaches to specialize in teaching only certain areas of the game.

Early in my career I had the pleasure of working for Dave Pelz at his facility in LaQuinta, Calif. We had a whole system associated with dialing in distance control on the wedges, but back then it was common to begin by having players learn to master a basic 50-yard shot.

Before my time at Pelz, I had never really practiced to specific wedge yardages. Instead I just trusted my gut to knock it close. At the short game school, however, we had a state-of-the-art facility with targets everywhere to hit to. I'm embarrassed to say, when given the task of consistently hitting a net only 50 yards away, I failed miserably. Pretty quickly I found my groove and for the first time actually knew what kind of swing would hit a repeatable 50 yard shot. Once I could hit it 50 yards in my sleep, I'd then add targets staggered on either side in 10 yard increments, building out an arsenal of dependable distances I knew I could produce. With the 50 yard swing as my anchor, it became very easy to increase or decrease swing length to get the desired result.

Following my time at Pelz, a great mentor of mine, Mike LaBauve, developed a highly effective scoring system to give players valuable feedback on the quality of their short game skills. I've used Mike's test over the years and if you ever have the pleasure of working with him, make sure he puts you through the ringer! This week's challenge was born from spending time with both of these great coaches and I'm forever grateful for the influence they've had on my career.

In looking at this week's video you might say it's unreasonable to exactly replicate this setup. I'm confident, however, that anyone can drop a towel 50 yards out on a practice tee or open field and do themselves some real good tuning up their short range shotmaking! Spend a little time trying to master your baseline 50-yard shot and you can count this challenge as complete.

BENEFITS
Improved Rhythm
Better Distance
Control Lower Scores


Jeff Ritter is the CEO/Founder of MTT Performance. The program operates out of Poppy Hills Golf Course in Pebble Beach, Calif. Follow him on Twitter at @mttgolf
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News & Tours

The uncommon images that inspired the European Ryder Cup team

In 1985 a group of rock stars and musicians gathered in unheard of fashion to record a fundraising album for African relief. Paul Simon, Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Billy Joel, Cyndi Lauper, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan ... and many others ... were all there. It promised to be a zoo.

Anticipating the nightmare ahead, producer Quincy Jones posted a sign outside the recording studio: 

“Check your ego at the door.” 

That sentiment, say insiders, was the first (unspoken) rule of European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley’s team room this past weekend. No major winners, no World Golf Champions, just equal partners intent on doing Europe proud. Everyone belonged. The rookies -- Victor Dubuisson, Stephen Gallacher, Jamie Donaldson, were all made to feel like full-fledged members of the side. Every player was dedicated to the themes McGinley had established. And those themes, in posters as high as seven feet, were everywhere. 

They were the creation of Nick Bradley, who a year ago began working with McGinley on his own game. Bradley showed McGinley Kinetic Golf, Bradley’s book of surreal and sometimes bizarre motivational imagery, similar to those he’d created when he worked with Justin Rose. Nine months ago the captain asked him to create posters for the team room stressing themes critical to success. The finished products, which featured the likes of Ian Poulter (below), Graeme McDowell, and the late Seve Ballesteros, included messages that championed emotions such as passion, focus, and resilience. The picture that received the most attention was of a rock in the middle of a raging sea, with the message, "We will be the rock when the storm arrives." 

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The Poulter image spoke to the “bonding” that McGinley worked hard to create, bonding he had with some players at the beginning, but not with all.  “That poster says, ‘This is about more than money,’” says Bradley. “’More than golf.  More than Gleneagles. It’s about how much heart we all have collectively.’”

The posters left an impression on the players, who Bradley called “12 guys who all wanted to play for Paul McGinley.  "From the first day we got here, the speeches that he gave, the videos he showed us, the people that he got in to talk to us, the imagery in the team room, it all tied in together,” said Rory McIlroy of MicGinley. Said Rose:  “The atmosphere in the team room was fantastic.” 

What’s interesting about the posters McGinley chose is how, while obviously supportive of team concept, they depict certain team leaders who have been, and would be expected to be much more than just one of 12:  Rose, Poulter and McDowell. With the exception of the photo of Ballesteros, McGinley focused not about the icons of the past but about the current player-leaders who lived past virtues. A church of living saints, not dead ones, members now inspiring one another.

When Rose, McDowell and Poulter fell behind early yesterday, all of McGinley’s themes were tested. Rose, trailing Hunter Mahan by four holes on the front nine, said he thought of Seve, but was inspired by a past teammate from Medinah. “On the front nine I was basically trying to be Peter Hanson,” said Rose. “He was six down to Jason Dufner on the Sunday two years ago but ended up taking him all the way up the 18th. That sent an important message to the rest of the team that day, that we were still in there fighting, and I wanted to send the same message.”

Like a rock in a storm. 

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Weird Golf News

This is why you don't do radio interviews while you're driving...

Odds are, you've probably heard a few radio interviews regarding the Ryder Cup the past couple days. But we doubt you've heard any that ended quite like this.

Related: 9 Reasons Why The U.S. Lost The Ryder Cup

Melbourne Radio's Mark Allen, a former Australian golf professional, was giving his thoughts on the action at Gleneagles while driving on Tuesday when he rear-ended a car. Fortunately, no one was hurt. Here's the extremely entertaining audio:

SEN Radio host Kevin Bartlett's reaction was the best. First he exclaimed some sort of Australian slang word ("Jingos!"?) before asking, "Not the Mercedes?"

Yep. It was the Mercedes.

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After ending the interview for legal reasons -- and because Allen had to deal with the accident -- an incredulous Bartlett went on.

"Can you believe that he's had a crash while speaking on radio?! That is a first, that is an absolute first! I reckon's that'd make a good promo, don't you think?"

Not sure about that, but golf experts everywhere can learn a lesson from this one. Don't analyze and drive.

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Celebrity

"Fifty Shades of Grey" star Jamie Doran to play in the Dunhill Links

The Alfred Dunhill Links Championship Pro-Am is the European Tour's equivalent to the Pebble Beach Pro-Am on the PGA Tour, and features lots of big-name celebrities. One of those in the field this year is Jamie Doran, and actor who plays BDSM-enthusiast Christian Grey in the upcoming film "Fifty Shades of Grey."

“I can't wait to play in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship this week. I'll be one of two people playing from Holywood, County Down. The other being Rory McIlroy," Doran said in the press release. "I'd say your money's safer with Rory."

The film is set the debut on February 13, 2015. Here's the trailer for it:


Interestingly, this is now the second connection "Fifty Shades of Grey" has to golf. In the film, Grey's love-interest is played by Dakota Johnson, the daughter of Don Johnson, who played David Simms in the 1996 golf movie "Tin Cup".

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How He Hit That

How He Hit That: Jamie Donaldson's Cup-winning wedge


Jamie Donaldson ended the Ryder Cup on his 15th hole Sunday, but it really was a mercy killing. Not only was the Welshman 4-up on Keegan Bradley, but the board was filled with European blue on a day when the Americans needed to win eight matches just to get close. 

Donaldson's pitching wedge to a foot from 146 yards capped a breakout week for the 38-year-old Cup rookie, who also went 2-1 as a part of partnership with Lee Westwood. Donaldson's simple, repeatable swing has produced three victories on the European Tour to go with what will probably go down as the most memorable pitching wedge of his career. 

"Jamie's arm and body motions put him in a position to hit extremely, powerful consistent shots," says top New York teacher Michael Jacobs, who is based at the X Golf School in Manorville, Long Island. "In the final phase of his downswing, his left arm hangs straight down from his shoulder. It shows his body has moved in the right sequence, and he's in a position where he can transfer all that speed from his wrists into the clubhead. If your left arm floats in a higher position, you waste a lot of that potential energy. That's why he's hitting super high 146-yard pitching wedges and most of us aren't." 

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Even if you can't produce a tour player's clubhead speed, you can get more distance and make more consistent contact if you try to copy that feeling of the lead arm hanging straight down through the last part of the downswing, says Jacobs, the 2012 Metropolitan Section PGA Teacher of the Year. "Get it right and your ball-strking will immediately improve, and you won't be so reliant on perfect timing. That's going to give you confidence when you're playing your own important rounds. 

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