The Local Knowlege

News & Tours

OSU's Uihlein missing from spring opener

I was checking out the lineups for the schools playing at the Amer-Ari Invitational in Hawaii to start their spring season, and one name in particular stood out by its absence as the event begins Wednesday.

Oklahoma State's Peter Uihlein.

Don't fret Cowboys fans. The reigning U.S. Amateur champion doesn't have a mysterious injury to worry about. According to OSU coach Mike McGraw, Uihlein will be back in the line-up when the country's top-ranked team plays in the Puerto Rico tournament later this month.

"Every year I set a certain GPA criteria that players must meet in the fall in order to be eligible to go to Hawaii," said McGraw via text message when asked why Uihlein didn't make the trip. "Peter is eligible by NCAA standards and OSU standards, however, not the standard we have on our team for Hawaii." Reached by phone in Hawaii, McGraw would not say what the GPA standard was.

Perhaps it's not the worst news for Uihlein. A year ago he made the trip to Waikaloa Beach Resort despite having flu-like symptoms. He wound up shooting an 18-over 234 and finished T-84.

OSU's starting five will be Morgan Hoffmann, Kevin Tway, Kevin Doughery, Drew Page, Talor Gooch.

Meanwhile, Uihlein is likely to get some competitive golf in this coming weekend. He is listed as a participant at the Jones Cup Invitational, a men's amateur event being played at Ocean Forest GC in St. Simons Island, Ga., Feb. 4-6.  
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Gear & Equipment

Art posing as a putter

Kevin Peterson is not deceiving himself. He is well aware that the market for $1,500 putters won't be a large one, possibly not even a small one. He's happy simply to be making putters for himself rather than others.

"They're going to be limited quantity and they're going to be special," Peterson said from his business, Peterson Fine Mill, in Vista, Calif. "They take a tremendous amount of time, both in the design and actually the machining in them. We're planning to make them out of precious metals eventually."

The Liberty Putter is as much a work of art as it is a golf club. It is the culmination of his passion for his work, which has included many prominent clients, Scotty Cameron and Odyssey Golf, among them.

163283_173038839384243_173036636051130_419364_7858430_n.jpg

"Originally I was doing all the engraving on all the Scotty Cameron putters," he said. He has milled putters for David Whitlam and his Gauge Design putters. Presently, he said, he's milling SeeMore's M Series putters and working with Piretti on its putters, too.

The Liberty Putter, he said, "was my original concept that popped into my head. I love this country."

-- John Strege

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News & Tours

Golf World Monday: Founders Cup resistance

From the Jan. 31 issue of Golf World Monday:

In his first year as LPGA commissioner, Mike Whan received nearly universal praise for stabilizing a shaky circuit. But the honeymoon may be over.

pressel_470.jpgAt the very least, Whan's latest idea isn't a unanimous hit. Last week several marquee players -- Cristie Kerr, Paula Creamer and Morgan Pressel (pictured) -- balked at competing for the $1.3 million "mock purse" at the RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup, March 18-20 in Arizona, contending that the tournament wasn't well thought out, not enough dollars were going to charity and that playing for no prize money was a bad precedent for a tour struggling to fill its schedule.



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Instruction

How to launch it like Bubba

On the CBS telecast, Peter Kostis and Gary McCord isloated the magic move that all the really long hitters have in common--they maximize their leverage against the ground by straightening the lead leg just before impact.

bubba_300.jpgMere mortals might pull a hamstring by trying this clubhead-speed-producing move, but make no mistake: Phil Mickelson does it. Jhonattan Vegas does it. So does Hunter Mahan, Anthony Kim and Dustin Johnson. But the player who exhibits it more than anyone is Bubba Watson, who won the Farmers Insurance Open this afternoon at Torrey Pines, routinely hitting drives more than 330 yards. On the par-5 18th hole, he hit 7-iron for his second shot, and on the par-5 13th, he hit pitching wedge!


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Instruction

Tiger's best putting drill

For at least the past 12 years, Tiger Woods has been considered by his peers, most golf instructors and the general public to be the best putter in the game. Even Jack Nicklaus has said that Tiger might be slightly better than he was when having to make a putt with everything on the line.

That putting stroke of Tiger's has been running a little colder this past year or so, but it's not because Tiger isn't paying attention to it. As Dave Shedloski pointed out on Thursday in an article on golfdigest.com, after Tiger's opening-round 69 at this year's Farmer's Insurance Open (at Torrey Pines), Tiger immediately went to the practice green and made 42 consecutive four-footers using his go-to drill, which he calls the Gate Drill.

You can easily perform the Gate Drill as well, whenever you feel your stroke is out of sorts. All you need is a few balls, your favorite putter and a couple of tees. Click on the link to see exactly how Tiger does it.

Let me hear how it worked for you, and tell me about your favorite putting drill. And follow me on Twitter @rogerschiffman.

Roger Schiffman
Managing Editor
Golf Digest

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News & Tours

Daly's bottom-line health is better, too

LA JOLLA, Calif. - John Daly attributes his fine play through two rounds of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines mainly to an almost full recovery from the rib injury that has hampered his golf swing the last three years.
 
But a gambling man -- which Daly is not ashamed to admit he is -- would believe there's more to it than that. And there is.

johndaly_470.jpgThe importance of improved health can never be minimized, and Daly said he is better managing the problems associated with shoulder and rib injuries he traces back to an incident at the 2007 Honda Classic. Daly injured his rib cage, he said, while trying to stop his backswing after a fan jumped in front of him to take his picture. Last June he filed a $100 million lawsuit against the tournament.
 
In the meantime, physical therapy has helped him regain motion, strength and confidence.
 


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Gear & Equipment

The gripping adventures of Mr. Style

Marty Hackel, Golf Digest's Mr. Style, looks at grips, eyewear and a rangefinder at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando:

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Gear & Equipment

Mr. Style goes in search of color

Golf Digest's Mr. Style, Marty Hackel, in search of color at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando:

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Instruction

Saturday Morning Tip: More first-tee thoughts

Last Saturday's Blog entry was so popular, I've given you two more thoughts to get your round started, from two veteran members of the Golf Digest Instruction staff. Have a great round, and be sure to follow me on Twitter.

Roger Schiffman
Managing Editor
Golf Digest


Tom Watson: When we struggle, probably the most important thing to think about is rhythm. We all have a natural pace. It can get off for a variety of reasons. Maybe we're stiff, or we drank too much coffee, or maybe we're nervous or simply tired. Establish a slow, smooth rhythm as you warm up. If you have trouble on the course, many times it goes back to rhythm. Slow it down, especially in your transition (think of Jay Haas' slow-moving pace at the top--and see if that helps.

David Leadbetter: In my experience, backswings go a lot better if you are relaxed at address. One of the biggest mistakes I see amateurs make is that they start tight and tense, especially in their forearms and shoulders. They snatch the club away, which messes up their rhythm right from the start. Nick Faldo always looked relaxed at address. The best way to foster that feeling is by standing in the address position without a club, spreading your arms apart, then clapping your palms together. That shakes any tension out of your upper body.
 
Roger Schiffman
Managing Editor
Golf Digest

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News & Tours

With Amy in gallery, Mickelson thrives

LA JOLLA, Calif. -- Amy Mickelson wasn't about to take any credit for the way her husband, Phil, has played the first two rounds of the Farmers Insurance Open, but there's been an undeniable bounce in his step this week that seems to be more than just about him lurking three shots out of the lead in his PGA Tour season debut.

The reigning Masters champion followed up an opening 67 with a late-blooming 69 on Torrey Pines' North Course and at 8-under 136 trails Bill Haas by three, his best position in this event since he won back-to-back in 2000 and '01.

Watching every shot for the second day in a row was his wife, Amy, who is battling breast cancer. Amy hadn't been able to walk 18 holes with her husband since The Players in 2009, the week she got back her lab results that revealed she had cancer. "I still didn't think I had it," she recalls of that day.

Phil had indicated Wednesday that his wife was doing better, but Amy's presence on the golf course these last two days brought context to just how much better she feels despite ongoing therapy and medications.

"I missed being out here," she said Friday as she watched Phil play the par-3 third hole on the North Course. "I missed the people and the atmosphere and just being able to be here for Phil. It feels like things are getting back to normal again, as much as they can be, and we're definitely feeling like we have a good handle on things mentally, which always helps you physically."

As for any help she is providing Phil, she laughed and shook her head. "Oh, I don't know about that. He's been ready to play," she said. "Honestly, I stay out of all the golf stuff."

Said Phil: "It's been a lot of fun having Amy out here this week. She just looks terrific. After a year and a half, we're in such a better place, and it's a lot of fun having her out here."

-- Dave Shedloski

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