All I did was read their twitter updates.
Read the following three tweets and guess who played well and who didn't:
1. "And now...A hot bath to try and counterbalance the freeze that has set into my bones!"
2. "And yes, I did hit a left handed shot out of a bunker today...figure out the rest."
3. "Having nice curry (different place to last time) and then bed and early morning!"
It's pretty obvious, no? If not, here are the answers:
1. Christina Kim, +1, T7
2. Morgan Pressel, +5, T52
3. Maria Hjorth, E, 6th place
Unlike my fellow blogger (Stina Sternberg, of course), I've succumbed to Facebook and Twitter, and I follow most of the players on tour. Although I wholeheartedly reject a recent suggestion that the players tweet during their rounds (yep, former-LPGA Tour Commissioner Carolyn Bivens brought that to the table), I do love reading their pre- and post-round thoughts.
I'm not naive; I know they're short. And I have a hunch that other people (especially women) think they're too short, even though nobody's ever told me so. I'm oblivious to passive aggressive behavior, but I can just feel what women think when I step onto the first tee. "Doesn't she know she's on a golf course?" And, "Good lord, who does she think she is?" Blah, blah, blah.
(Photo by Getty Images)
I've found this to be a very common phenomenon among new women golfers. Guys who pick up golf seem to have no problem puling out driver the first time they ever take a swing, which might be a little foolhardy, but at least it shows there's no fear involved. Women seem afraid to use anything but the one club they know they can make contact with, and they end up sticking with that club for way too long. Because you'll never learn to play golf well if you don't get used to hitting all the clubs in your bag, especially the driver.
Ten years ago, new women golfers were right to be afraid of the big stick, and were often told to just tee off with a 3- or 5-wood instead. Back then, women's drivers were designed very similarly to men's drivers, which means they were too heavy, too stiff and didn't have nearly enough loft to launch the ball into the air for players with slower swing speeds. But it's a different world now. Today's women's drivers come with super-lightweight, flexible shafts; large, forgiving clubheads; and lots of loft (typically between 13 and 16 degrees, which is where 3-woods used to be in the past). In combination, these features allow even the slowest swingers to get some serious height and distance out of their shots--distance that could never be duplicated by an iron.
So if you're a new golfer, don't be afraid to hit the driver. It should be your favorite club. And if you're a veteran playing with a new golfer, do what I did last weekend and force your friend to remove that headcover. Tell her to hit two drives on each hole; one with her 7-iron (or whatever other club she insists on using) and one with the driver. When she sees how much farther she hits the driver, she'll never go back.
For tips on great new women's drivers, check out our recent Golf Digest Woman equipment preview.
Gulbis hosted an Evian event in New York City, just hours before flying out to France for the Evian Masters, which starts Thursday. The event, held at the posh Hudson Terrace, served two main purposes: to showcase Evian's latest commercial, which, with nearly 15 million views on YouTube, has gone viral; and to celebrate this week's primo LPGA Tour stop, which carries a $3,250,000 purse, one of the highest on tour.
Gulbis and I found a comfy sofa on an outdoor terrace, and we touched on several topics. She began by explaining the state of her golf game. Last year, she played with a ton of pain in her lower back, so she and Butch Harmon changed her swing during the off-season to ensure it'd inflict minimal impact on her back. So she now has a more quiet lower body to restrict over-rotation during the backswing, and she lifts her head right after impact, a move that Annika Sorenstam made famous.
Then she shed a little light on the events that transpired a couple weeks ago, when several LPGA Tour players, including herself, signed a letter that called for Carolyn Bivens' resignation. She reiterated how much she likes Bivens, and that this certainly wasn't a personal attack. But she's proud to have been part of a movement that led to major changes among those who run the tour, and is pleased with what has happened. With a smile, she happily said that things are already turning around.
She was spot-on when she predicted that events will quickly start coming back: the LPGA announced yesterday that they signed a two-year contract with Sports Management Group to create the Acapulco LPGA Classic starting in 2010. The tournament, which will be played next spring at Tres Vidas Golf Club in Acapulco, will carry a $1.3 million purse.
Here's to hoping this becomes prevailing trend.