The Local Knowlege

News & Tours

Still an underdog, Joe Daley embraces chance for redemption at Senior Players

FOX CHAPEL, Pa. -- Joe Daley has spent years on golf's undercard, but Sunday at the Constellation Senior Players he will simply be an underdog.

After plugging away in the third round at Fox Chapel GC Saturday after a poor start to shoot a 68, Daley shares the 54-hole lead with Mark Calcavecchia at 12-under 198, one shot ahead of Fred Couples and Tom Lehman.

That trio has majors and millions. Daley, 51, has two Nationwide Tour wins in 272 starts. He has one top-10 in 59 PGA Tour events.


Photo by: Hunter Martin/Getty Images

On the penultimate hole of PGA Tour qualifying school in 2000, Daley got one of the worst breaks in golf history when a four-footer, rolling at perfect speed, somehow hit a raised cup liner just wrong and bounced out. He threw his cap to the ground in disgust and disbelief, and missed getting his card by one stroke.

The thin man -- "I'm swimming in these 32s," he said Friday, tugging at his waistband -- kept grinding. He had worked in offices until he was in his early-30s, and he loves the golf life, vagaries and all.

Bogeys at Nos. 3 and 4 Saturday were just the latest setbacks. "I made some mistakes early, but that's golf," Daley said. "Then I fought back and made some birdies and plugged on from there."

The Fox Chapel course suits his eye, reminding him of rolling layouts around the Philadelphia suburbs, where he grew up. Daley had respectable finishes in the first two Champions Tour events of 2012 after Monday-qualifying. He got into the Senior PGA Championship as a result, and he parlayed a 66-64 close to a T-4 there.

As Roger Chapman, the journeyman from England, proved at the Senior PGA, resumés don't win tournaments, golfers do.

Through three rounds, Daley is poised for his biggest day in golf but he'll try to go through it in increments of a few seconds. Clichés are boring, but they've worked for Daley through 54 holes.

"I'm taking it one shot at a time," he said. "Just being patient in my mind, staying focused on where I'm at and what I'm doing. For me, that's as simple as it gets. It's not complicated for me. When I do that, I control my emotions better and I'm more into what I'm doing. I'm happier too."

Against those names off the senior marquee, the odds won't be with Daley Sunday but then they never have been. A self-taught player, he has long been hooked on the self-reliant angle of professional golf. He will earn what he gets Sunday afternoon, hopefully with a smile on his face.

"This is a great opportunity for me," Daley said. "If I'm on that page of the attitude side, the outcome is always better than going the other way. When you stay on that positive, forward, can-do page, things happen and it's good. I'd rather be there than on the other end. Take the high road, you know?"

If the sport's many journeymen could summon some golf justice for one of their own, Daley's Sunday ride will end in victory with a four-footer on No. 18 that settles safely in the bottom of the cup.

-- Bill Fields

... Read

Weekend Tip: Short game, short game, short game

Through the Fourth of July holiday and over the next couple of weekends, a lot of local golf tournaments are being played across the country. If you want to compete at your highest level, there are some easy things you can do to improve your scores.

One of my favorite teachers, DeLayne Pascal, director of instruction at Holly Ridge Golf Club in Sandwich, Mass., makes the point that for most golfers, the short game is vastly more important than the full swing. She says if you're pointing toward any kind of competitive experience, whether it's a one-day member-guest, a statewide amateur tournament or a pro-am, you should practice your short game every day leading up to the event.

For every full-swing practice ball you hit, you should hit at least four practice chips, four pitches, four bunker shots and four putts. In other words, work on your chipping, pitching, bunker play and putting four times as much as your full swing.

If you're confident in your short game on the course, you'll take pressure off your full swing. You'll know you can miss a fairway or a green and still make a good score. That will free up your full swing and you'll actually hit the ball better.

By the way, record-breaking heat will be the norm across much of the country this weekend. Drink plenty of water BEFORE you go out to play, and keep drinking on the course. Stay away from caffeine, alcohol, energy drinks and sugary sodas. Nutrition and health experts agree that drinking pure water--and lots of it--is the best way to avoid dehydration.

Good luck with your game. I'll be pulling for you!

Roger Schiffman
Managing Editor
Golf Digest
Twitter @RogerSchiffman

... Read
Health & Fitness

Fitness Friday: Is heavy lifting bad for your golf?

Every week my colleague Ron Kaspriske, Golf Digest Fitness Editor, presents Fitness Friday on the Instruction Blog. This week he discusses how different people are motivated differently to do their workouts. And he suggests a social network that might help you. Look for Weekend Tip tomorrow, and remember to follow me on Twitter: @RogerSchiffman.

Roger Schiffman
Managing Editor
Golf Digest

Here's Ron: If you know fitness expert Mike Boyle or have ever heard him speak, then you know he's not afraid to be controversial. If he believes in something, he doesn't care if it runs counter to popular belief. Knowing that about him, I recently asked Mike to take on a popular myth about golf and strength training. I've heard many people say that golfers should avoid increasing muscle mass because it could hinder their swing. Too much bulk leads to inflexibility, they say.
"That's laughable," Boyle said. "Not only do you need stronger muscles to protect your joints--especially when you play golf--but stronger muscles will actually improve your flexibility."
Boyle, like other well-respected fitness experts Gray Cook and Ben Shear, believes that stronger muscles lead to a more stable body. And when the body has stability, it's able to move in ways it previously could not. A better way to understand this is to ask an inflexible person to try to do a deep squat while holding a bar directly over the head. When attempting this functional movement, typically the bar will drift forward and the body will stop well short of a full squat. Now, have that same person lie on the back, arms over the head holding the bar against the floor. In this position, he or she will be able to raise the knees up to the chest with no difficulty and simulate a full squat position. Why? The body is in a stable position when you lie on the ground, allowing it to be more mobile.
Do you remember the years when Tiger Woods looked big enough to play linebacker? Between 2005 and 2008, Tiger was arguably as big and strong as he ever was. He won 25 PGA Tour events and six majors during that four-year span. Ever see Jason Zuback swing a club? Zuback, a five-time World Long Drive champion, looks like a fire hydrant with legs, but when he takes the club back, the shaft is actually perpendicular to the ground. Those are just two of many examples of why strength training is effective for golfers.
In Golf Digest's July issue, Boyle gives golfers four basic strength-training exercises to help you protect your joints and improve your mobility. Click here to see them.
Ron Kaspriske
Fitness Editor
Golf Digest

... Read
News & Tours

Sam Snead's record falls in PGA Professional Championship

SEASIDE, Calif. -- Matt Dobyns was conflicted. The head professional at Fresh Meadow Country Club on Long Island, N.Y., Dobyns felt an obligation to supervise the women's member-guest. He also had qualified for the PGA Professional National Championship. The member-guest and the second round of the PNC would fall on the same day. What to do?

The club gave its blessing for Dobyns to play in his organization's showcase event, and he showed his appreciation in the most impressive way possible: He won the PNC by eight shots on the Bayonet Course here, the largest margin of victory in the history of an event that began in 1968. The previous record was five, held by Sam Snead, who at 59 won the tournament in 1971.

"Luckily my assistants are great and they put on a great event for our members," he said. "I can't explain how magical this is for me."

Dobyns' reward (along with 19 others) is an invitation to play in the PGA Championship on the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, S.C., in August. He also earned $75,000 for the victory.

It was a remarkable performance for Dobyns, 34, who in the third round shot a three-under par 69 that included a hole-in-one on the 200-yard par-3 14th hole. He opened with consecutive rounds of 68 and took a six-stroke lead into the final round, then closed with a two-under par 70.

"Things like this aren't worth doing unless there are people worth sharing it with," he said, citing wife Laurie and daughter Kaitlyn.

Meanwhile, Marty Jertson, senior design engineer for Ping Golf, shot a three-under par 69, equalling the best round of the day to qualify for the PGA Championship for a second consecutive year.

"I pretty much pured it the whole day," Jertson, who tied for seventh, said. "I didn't putt particularly well, but when setup is tough like this it comes down to ball striking, in my opinion."

-- John Strege

... Read
News & Tours

Love announces two assistants, other Ryder Cup plans

Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III confirmed what Fred Couples let slip at the Memorial Tournament, that he and Mike Hulbert would be the first two of Love's four assistants when they face the Europeans at Medinah CC in September. "I talked to Fred all the way back in January, so he did pretty well to keep it under his hat all the way to Memorial," said Love jokingly. "But talking to Fred about how we were going to do this, working with them on picking the other two, I think staging this is different than we've done in the past, but I am waiting on a couple guys to see how they play, where they fit in the mix of the points list."


Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Love is leaning toward active PGA Tour players to round out his assistants, along with getting help from his brother, Mark. If veterans like Jim Furyk and Steve Stricker fall down the points list, they might well fill that role, just as Love did in Wales. "My next two are going to be harder," said Love. "I'm going to need to fill those gaps with guys that are out here playing -- like Corey (Pavin) did with Paul Goydos and myself. That's what Fred and Mike and I are doing right now is trying to figure out who's the best fit for the next two."

Of more interest was what Love had to say about the actual playing of the matches. "The three of us and a lot of other players, we've gotten together and decided that we think we'll go with the alternate shot format first in the mornings on Friday and Saturday," said Love. "We feel like with our team, the way it's shaping up, the way it's played in the past, that's a good thing for us to do right off the bat in the morning. We feel like across the board, the players that I've talked to were either for it or heavily for it. So, I think we have a lot of confidence that we're better at that format than people think we are, and we're going to go with that in the mornings and it'll give us more flexibility for having to make pairings in the afternoon for best ball."

Related: The all-time best Ryder Cup captains

Love also gave some indications on how he was leaning in course set-up. "We really haven't made any hard-and-fast decisions yet," he said. "It's hard to have a short-hitting team these days, so we're probably going to be a long-hitting team. I would think that the shorter rough, more creative shot making, firm, fast greens like we've been playing. That's what we're used to over here. We're used to making a lot of birdies, too. I think we want to at least tie or win holes with birdies because that gets the fans excited. But Medinah is Medinah. It's going to be a big, hard, long golf course no matter what we do."

-- Jim Moriarty

... Read
News & Tours

Trending: Naked man finds new use for putter

Much to my dismay, there is no video or photographic evidence of the following, but it's still worth sharing.

This past Sunday, a 57-year-old Holiday, Fla. man was seen attacking an abandoned pizza delivery car that was left in the rising floodwaters caused by Tropical Storm Debby. According to the Miami Herald, neighbors told deputies they saw Larry Norman Hill of Cape Cod Drive, "completely naked" and "smashing the stranded vehicle with a golf club." The side mirror was knocked off. The headlight ripped out. The roof caved in. The doors were opened, letting floodwater inside.

Now, if you're like me, after reading that you immediately assumed he was the next house on the delivery route before the car was left stranded. But it seems like ol' Larry was after a little more than just pizza.

After a witness confronted Hill and asked him "how would he like it if someone did that to his car," the police report states, Hill "told him it was his car now."

When the pizza delivery woman went back to retrieve her 1999 Pontiac Grand Am on Monday, she saw the damage and called the Sheriff's Office. Apparently it didn't take long for neighbors to point out Hill, who was found walking -- clothed -- with a putter.

When questioned about the incident, Hill told a deputy he was on the car's roof because he thought a baby was inside "and wanted to save it," the report says. "I asked him why he opened the doors to the vehicle and he told me he wanted to air it out."

Hill was charged with criminal mischief and held on $1,000 bail. No word yet on the make or model of the putter.

-- Derek Evers

... Read
Gear & Equipment

Medicus introduces Pure Strike, 5 keys to a better swing

Medicus PureStrike.jpg

The Medicus, contrary to those hopelessly unable to keep the hinge or hinges from breaking down, was not designed to flummox anyone, but in the event this popular and best-selling training has, the company has introduced a solution.

"Pure Strike: 5 Simple Keys to Consistency" is a DVD collection the company calls "arguably the next significant advance in golf instruction."

Bob Koch, founder of Medicus, designed the program (with assists from Medicus master instructors Chuck Evans and Dave Wedzik) based on five elements it claims every successful golfer from Bobby Jones to Tiger Woods has in common.

Its five keys, one on each of five DVDs in the set, are:

-- A steady head. "Data shows that the average PGA Tour player moves his heads only one inch during the swing."

-- Weight forward. "Eighty percent of a right-hander's weight should be on the left foot at impact."

-- Flat left wrist. "Prevents the golfer from 'flipping the ball.'"

-- Diagonal Sweet Spot Path. It has to do with keeping the club on plane throughout the swing and delivering the clubface's sweet spot to the golf ball.

-- Clubface control. The movement of the clubface from the takeaway to the follow-through.

The DVDs sell for $99 and are available at

-- John Strege

... Read
News & Tours

Ping club designer can hit the clubs pretty well, too

SEASIDE, Calif. -- Marty Jertson is not in sales for Ping Golf, but he's a salesman, nonetheless, one who not only designs clubs for the company, but then demonstrates how well they work.

Jertson, 31, is a senior design engineer at Ping, who is threatening to qualify for the PGA Championship for a second consecutive year. In the third round of the PGA Professional National Championship here, Jertson shot an even-par 72 on Tuesday on a breezy, difficult day on the Bayonet Course here and is tied for 21st with one round to play. The top 20 will receive invitations to play in the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island, S.C., in August.

Last year, Jertson tied for fifth in this tournament, which begs the question: How does he find time to hone his game to a degree that allows him to compete at this level while working a full-time job?

"I player test at work. That's the biggest thing," he said. "At least you get to hit balls. We have full-time player testing, so I'm able to hit the range three or four times a week for half hour or so."

He also has post-work access to the range at Ping facilities in Phoenix and recently installed an artificial-turf putting and chipping green at his home. As for actual golf, "weekends only," he said. "In the summer, when I have my tournaments, I try to get out once or twice a week."

As for the clubs he uses, he opts for Ping G20 irons and i20 woods and hybrids. If it seems surprising that a player of his caliber uses wide-soled game-improvement irons, there's a specific reason that has nothing to do with his having designed them.

"I've generally been a low-ball hitter and kind of steep," he said. "The wide sole in that G20 style helps get the ball in the air easier. I have made some swing changes to hit the ball higher, but the G20s still work for me because I can flight the ball lower. I want to use what's best for me. That's why I play big irons."

-- John Strege

... Read

How She Played That: Brittany tames a par 5


Editor's Note: Every Monday Kevin Hinton, Director of Instruction at Piping Rock Club in Locust Valley, N.Y. and one of Golf Digest's Best Young Teachers, tells you how a tour player hits a key shot. This week, Kevin notes that Brittany Lang birdied the par-5 18th hole three times en-route to her sudden-death playoff victory Sunday in the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic. (At left she's getting up and down from the bunker for her third birdie.) Hinton gives you some par-5 strategies to help you lower your scores on these holes.

Roger Schiffman
Managing Editor
Golf Digest
Twitter: @RogerSchiffman

By Kevin Hinton
Twitter: @KevinHintonGolf

Zone in your wedges
To make the most of the par 5s, it's essential to know two things: (1) exactly how far your wedges fly, and (2) your most comfortable distance.  Practice your wedges to specific distances; don't just hit them into a target-less driving range having no idea the distance they are flying. Use a range-finder to confirm your wedge distances. From quality practice, you'll find your ideal layup distance. I hit my sand wedge most accurately from 85 yards. So every time I lay up on a par 5, I try to leave myself this distance for my third shot.

Think of risk/reward
If you are contemplating going for a par 5 in two, do a quick risk/reward analysis. Imagine you've hit your 3-wood 220 yards, and you now have 250 yards left for your second shot. In this scenario you have HIGH risk (hitting 3-wood isn't easy) and ZERO reward (you can't get the ball on the green). You should always lay up in this situation...ideally to your best wedge distance. Even if you do pull off the 3-wood and manage to miss all the trouble, most people are worse from 30 yards than they are from 80 or 100.

If you're at a yardage from which you can reach the green, we can now have a conversation about going for it. First, try to honestly assess how many times out of 10 you'll get the ball on the green. If it's less than five out of 10, it should be an automatic layup. If it's more than five, then you should think about going for it. You also have to evaluate how penalizing the miss is. If you're going for an island green, the miss is extremely severe. If your miss leaves you in a bunker or some other manageable situation, going for it is likely a prudent move.

Short game is the key to par-5 birdies
For Brittany Lang to birdie the par-5 18th three straight times is an extremely impressive feat. Her last birdie is evidence of how important a great short game is to birdieing par 5s. Practice everything from greenside pitches and bunker shots, to more challenging situations like handling deep rough conditions, and even flop shots. If you like going for par 5s in two, these are the shots you'll often encounter.

To see Brittany's swing, see below:

Photograph by Getty Images

... Read
News & Tours

Lightning strikes Connecticut golf course, at least three hospitalized

NORTH STONINGTON, Conn. -- At least three people were hospitalized, and 15 were "impacted" by an early Monday morning lightning strike at the Lake of Isles golf course in North Stonington, Conn.

According to the Hartford Courant, employees were on the course removing water from the greens to prepare for a tournament scheduled for today when the lightning struck. Course manager Archie Cart told the Courant that no one was directly struck by lightning, but that as many as 15 people felt the nearby strike. Emergency crews arrived on the scene around 9:30 a.m., transporting at least three people to the William W. Backus hospital in Norwich.

Lake of Isles is part of the Foxwoods Casino resort. The Arizona-based Troon Company owns the course itself, while the Mashantucket Pequot tribe owns the property where it is located.

-- Derek Evers

... Read
Subscribe to Golf Digest
Subscribe today