August 2010

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clip_image002A host of top Irish amateur golfers and several sporting celebrities will be taking part in the upcoming Junior Golf Ireland rory leonardfundraising am-am at Carton House on Friday 8th October. Organised by West Of Ireland Champion Rory Leonard of  JGI, all the proceeds go towards funding the junior golf programmes throughout the country that help produce Ireland’s most talented players. Entry is only €300 per team which includes a round on the Monty course with an amateur or celebrity, dinner with wine and prizes. It’s your chance to get up close and personal with the country’s elite amateurs whilst helping junior golf. For more information call 01 6290735 / 6290771 or contact Rory on



Club: Portstewart

Date of Birth: 12-01-1989

Handicap: +3

Paul Cutler is one Ireland’s top amateur golfers and is destined for European Tour stardom. He first hit balls aged four and took up the game seriously at 10. Playing out of Portstewart, Cutler has clocked up an impressive array of amateur victories including the East of Ireland Championship in 2008 and the Lytham Trophy earlier this year. That victory was all the more impressive considering the 21 year old was suffering from tendinitis in his left elbow during the final round. The Ulsterman is delaying turning professional in order to help GB&I win back the Walker Cup next year at the Royal Aberdeen Golf Club.

Paul at Junior Golf Ireland Fundraiser in Carton on 8th October

clip_image004Paul will be joined by an array of top Irish amateurs and several sporting celebrities at the upcoming Junior Golf Ireland fundraising classic at Carton House on Friday 8th October. Organised by Rory Leonard of JGI, all the proceeds go towards funding the junior golf programmes throughout the country that help produce Ireland’s most talented players. Entry is €300 per team which includes a round on the Monty course with an amateur or celebrity, dinner with wine and prizes. It’s your chance to get up close and personal with the country’s elite amateurs whilst helping junior golf. For more information call 01 6290735 / 6290771 or contact Rory on

What’s In The Bag 2010 Paul Cutler

whats in the bag 2010 Paul Cutler

Phil Mickelson 15/2

phil Phil Mickelson will not want to go into another Ryder Cup in desperate form and with Tiger no longer the “Man” in the team-room, my guess is he wont. Mickelson shot 73 in the first round last year and still stormed home by three shots. His 25th at the Deutsche Bank is deceiving as he had three rounds in the 60’s before shedding five shots in two holes during the final round. Phil’s 67 when paired with Tiger at Cog Hill last time out was vintage and brought him a tie for eighth.  Pic: Going for Ice cream with the kids the morning after the masters.  The Green Jacket was nearest to the bed!

Matt Kuchar 9/1

kuchar Kuch lives down the road from East Lake and knows the layout like the back of his hand having played it socially, during his college days at Georgia Tech and on the Tour. He is the FedEx Cup leader having won the Barclay’s with a final round 66 and a playoff win against Martin Laird. His tied third at the BMW Championship while battling illness is a measure of the man. He’s suffered the lows and climbed back up the ladder; no one deserves it as much as Kuchar.

Pic: Kuch, poxed.


KJ Choi 33/1

KJ lies 23rd in the FedEx standings going into this week. The highlight of his season was a tied fourth at The Masters though he had two seconds in Malaysia and at the Transitions. The loveable Korean is arguably one of the streakiest players on Tour and may just have timed kj_president2his run up perfectly this week with a momentum building tied third last time out at the BMW Championship. Let’s just hope he can keep up the form after a week off and we see the weightlifters smile on the last come Sunday next.  Pic: When he’s not busy running the country, KJ plays a bit of golf.

Adam Scott 14/1

adam scott I’ve been keeping a close eye on Scott since his visit to Adare this year; his ball striking on the range was phenomenal. Scott got his first win for two years at the Valero Texas Open in May and though he has only three other top tens this year, two of them have come during the playoffs. Tied ninth at The Barclays was followed up with a tied fifth at The BMW and Scott is only a couple of holed six footers from winning at East Lake. He crushed the filed here in 2006, winning with four rounds in the 60’s. Pic: Lesson- Never borrow your father’s hat, it never looks as good on you.

Dustin Johnson 9/1

Johnson is like a surfer who having missed a couple of big rollers, just caught the perfect wave. If his crumbling at the US Open was self inflicted his PGA loss was a travesty. What a guy though, Johnson picked himself off the canvass twice to win at the BMW Championship. Johnson is going to be a huge hit at dustin-johnsonCeltic Manor and lets hope he heads there with the Tour Championship laurels. My player of the season.

Pic: Dustin doesn’t even know his pool is a water hazard.  Someone tell him please.



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If I had a euro for every time I was asked by a student how can they achieve more distance from their game I would be a very wealthy man. Most golfers feel by buying the latest driver that has been so well marketed by the leading golf club companies they will surely gain more distance. However sadly this is rarely the case due to either poor technique or a physical limitation that effects the power they can create.

If the golfer’s technique is pretty good then improving the body is the answer to unlocking more distance out of your game. There have been thousands upon thousands of physical evaluations conducted on golfers and the most frequent trend is that most golfers have hip limitations.

Hip Twisters is a great exercise to stretch the hips and help you generate more explosive speed in your swing. Assume a golf posture with your hands out in front of you as if you were sking then jump and turn your hips to the left without moving the hands then twist back again. Repeat on the other side.

Log on to  for more info.


I was reminded this week by a good friend of mine that two guys who won on Tour a few weeks ago were playing the same driver but in two very different lofts. In general and for most club golfers loft is your friend and I always encourage golfers to get the ball in the air first. Martin Kaymer uses 8.5º in his driver to help keep his spin rate low so he can stay behind the shot and launch it in the air. His shaft also produces a high launch angle so he uses his loft to get the ball flight flat once he pops it up there. Dustin Johnson has the same head but in 10.5º and he uses loft to help him to launch it high and then his shaft choice gets the ball to spin lower through its tip and kick-point profile. It demonstrates two very different products but both very effective ways of getting the ball to fly. It also proves that where there are two very different players and their swings there is always a very successful club solution.

With Derek Murray,

us ryder cup team outfits mad-men-don-draper

The task of kitting out the US Ryder Cup Team this year has fallen to Peter Millar and it looks like the designers have been watching a bit too much Don Draper from Mad Men as their creations are straight from a bygone era. The team will wear purple cardigan sweaters, dress shirts and dark striped flannel trousers for the Saturday matches. It is unclear yet whether all the players will be wearing cravats, smoking cigarettes without filters and drinking whiskey out of crystal tumblers!


paul azinger bmw motorbike When will professional golfers learn that other pastimes don’t come as easy as just hitting a ball down a fairway. Paul Azinger, a Champions Tour rookie having just turned 50, brought his season to a thudding end when he suffered bruised and cracked ribs in a motorbike accident. The former Ryder Cup Captain was spinning on his brand new BMW when a car turning left cut him off. Quick thinking Zinger lay down the bike and took the fall; the only option. His injuries are set to sideline him for about three months, though he is expected to take the commentators microphone at Celtic Manor The driver who failed to yield was later cited by cops.


After making the cut for the first time in nine tries last week in Holland, Spain’s Jose Manuel Lara went one better in winning the Austrian GolfOpen 2010.  Lara claimed his first European Tour title in four years after beating David Lynn in a play-off.

Lara produced a closing round of 64, which included ten birdies, to put him on a 17 under par total.  Lynn, playing in the final group made a career up and down on the last to force a playoff  but needed three shots to find the green on the first extra hole and when he two-putted Lara was able to win with a par.


"I was expecting something good. I was hitting the ball really well last week," Lara said.

"I wanted to win this tournament and the way I played today and this week, in my best dreams I never imagined that.

"Today I just came from behind and tried to work from the back and I did my job.

"It's a great time for me. All the guys supporting me, the Spaniards, I'm really happy now."

"I saved my card today. I've been struggling in the last few years and I've missed too many cuts."


They’re just getting younger and younger on the European Tour and matthias and johannes schwabthis week has seen another kid, barely out of nappies, contend for a title. Amateur Austrian Matthias Schwab asked his teachers for a week off to compete at the Austrian GolfOpen and at 15 years of age became the third youngest player ever to make the cut at a European Tour event. The youngster from Rohrmoos hasn’t disappointed either, as he delighted the home crowd with an excellent tied ninth place heading into the final round. Matthias’ younger brother Johannes is also a budding amateur.  Below is Matthias’ card after round three

matthias schwab card austrian golfopen

harrington ryder cup funnyjpg Speaking ahead of next months Ryder Cup, Padraig Harrington believes Tiger Woods still has an  "intimidation factor" when it comes to matchplay.

"In many ways the Ryder Cup could be the pinnacle of his year," Harrington said. "Definitely he'll be in a fighting mood for the week -- a mood to perform."

"He's coming into this Ryder Cup not having succeeded and achieved a lot of his goals this year. He's coming in thinking, 'I want to play well in this Ryder Cup to make me have a successful year.'”

Woods has won only 11 points from five Ryder Cup matches and lifted the trophy only once in 1999.  He missed the last staging with a knee injury.

"He is the No.1 golfer in the world still by rankings," Harrington added. "He has a presence -- an intimidation factor.  When you get picked, you are under the spotlight more, you have something to prove, in many ways you're trying to justify it. There's definitely more pressure, but pressure brings a bit more adrenaline, more nerves, more focus. I'm trying to hold myself back and I'm excited about getting into it."


philip walton pic With the country going down the pan what better to do for the man that Simon Coveney described as being “half way between drunk and hungover” than get together for a piss-up with his mates and take a swing at Ireland’s Ryder Cup hero Philip Walton.

It was widely reported in the media that Brian Cowen did an impersonation of Philip to guffaws from his fellow politicians.  Walton released a statement yesterday saying he had written to the Taoiseach seeking an explanation for targeting him at the joke during an after dinner knees up at a so called “think in” at the Ardilaun Hotel in Galway. "From what I have heard and read so far, the stories are of concern to myself, my wife and also my children as they have seen reports on YouTube," Walton told Reuters news agency.

You’re bang out of order Brian, you stick to politics, we’ll do the golf.

Lee Westwood’s calf recuperation is "ahead of schedule" and he is set to be fit for the Ryder Cup next month, says his vet James Herriot.

westwoods vet The world number three suffered the calf injury at the French Open in July and has not played since early last month.  Speaking from the window of his car yesterday Mr Herriot said "Don’t comdemn Lee’s calf  to the abattoir just yet.  He will be at the Ryder Cup. He is a few days ahead of schedule and everything is progressing very well. He is expecting to be through the bag at the weekend and on Friday week he will be playing 36 holes just to make sure he is capable of playing two rounds in one day if he is called to do so in the Ryder Cup”.

westwood calf injury We last saw Westwood’s lame calf at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Ohio in August where he pulled after two rounds because he was finding it vealy hard to put weight on his right leg.  Westwood’s calf will get a run out next week at a charity event hosted by Ryder Cup vice-captain Darren Clarke and cricket legend Sir Ian Botham at Archerfield Golf Club in Scotland.

jason day Jason Day Profile

Nickname "J.D." or "Jaydee"

Born 12 November 1987 (age 22)

Beaudesert, Queensland

Height 1.82 m (5 ft 11 1⁄2 in)

Weight 75 kg (170 lb; 11.8 st)

Spouse Ellie Harvey

Turned professional 2006

Current tour(s) PGA Tour

PGA Tour Wins 1

One of the standout players of this year’s PGA Tour season has been Jason Day. The young Aussie goes into the Tour Championship in six place in the standings with a live chance of winning the FedEx Cup

Day was born in Beaudesert, Queensland. His father took him to Beaudesert Golf Club and joined him as a junior member just past his sixth birthday. “Jaydee” as he was known to his friends was allowed to play six holes a day as a kid. He got the golfing bug and rapidly rose through the ranks in the amateur game Down Under.

After borrowing a book about Tiger Woods from his roommate, the young Day was inspired, by it, to improve his golf by immersing himself in practice. He used the book's reports of Woods's scores as his benchmark for improvement and as a reachable standard. “Each morning I'd get up at 5am and practice until breakfast, then I'd take a half-hour break and go back out and practice until heading to school. I'd get home at 1 o'clock and eat lunch and then practice until 6:30pm. I practiced 32½ hours a week for three straight years. I was pretty obsessive about it!” says Day

He turned professional in July 2006 and won his first Nationwide Tour event exactly one year later at the Legend Financial Group Classic, becoming the youngest man to win on any of the PGA Tour's three tours. That win helped Day climb the money list and gain his main Tour card. After two non-descript years, in May 2010, Day became the youngest Australian to win a PGA Tour event, in winning the HP Byron Nelson Championship.

In that event, a jittery Day survived a ball in the water hazard on the final hole. He thought he might have blown his chance of victory but got a reprieve when his playing partner Blake Adams, having not noticed Days ball in the water, promptly knocked his ball into the water, too. Not believing his luck Day salvaged a bogey to win.

Touted as the next big thing from the Southern hemisphere, watch out for Jason Day come major time next season.

What’s In The Bag 2010 Jason Day

whats in the bag 2010 jason day

rafa nadal rory mcilroy golf When Rory McIlroy visited Flushing Meadows to catch some of the US Open recently, he was quickly greeted by one of his biggest fans.  Seven handicap golfer Rafa Nadal broke off a practice session to ensure he met up with Rors. ‘Rafa said one of his dreams was to play St Andrews,’ Rory said afterwards. ‘I told him that any time he wanted a partner, I’d be there.’ In a clear display of mutual love Nadal replied ‘I love golf and it was great to have a chance to meet Rory, as he is such a fun guy to watch play.’ Pic: No need to sprint Rafa, it’s golf.

presented by Botarin

Diamond Country Club,Atzenbrugg,Austria

Miguel Angel Jimenez 10/1

effect of jimenez on jet engine It’s hard to believe that Rory McIlroy was only three years old when Miguel Angel Jimenez won his first European Tour event. If Rors is still on his way up to the summit it seems that victories lie “over the hill” as Jimenez has bagged 11 since he turned 40. He has already made history this season winning three times in Dubai, France and Switzerland and after a weeks break he returns to take a shot at rewriting history. The “mechanic” as he is known is one of a kind and a vintage to be enjoyed every time he tees it up. Jimenez is to Europe right now what Kuchar is to the USA. What odds a singles match up in Wales?

Gonzalo Fernandez Castano 30/1

gonzalo castan funny We’re keeping the faith with Gonzo after he tied fourth last week in Holland seemingly without getting a putt throughout. Analysis of his stats bore out those problems on the greens (he ranked 20th out of the field) but on the positive side it means his long game is in excellent shape. Castano now has four top-10’s this season including his third at the Irish Open and surely a fifth Tour victory cannot be far away. Not the prettiest to watch on the practice ground but a real grinder come game time.

Richard Green 40/1

richard-green One of my favourite players Richard Green made his comeback to the tour last week in Holland but unfortunately didn’t make the weekend. The Aussie, who had been a break since his appearance at the Irish Open, is about as laid back as they come and picks the events where he feels he can contend very carefully. Green tied fifth in Killarney and was unlucky not to win in Estoril earlier in the Summer. Austria has been kind to Green in the past, he won in Fontana in 2007 and tied sixth last year. This years event moves to a new venue, the Diamond Country Club but we’re sticking with Rich to continue the love affair.

Pelle Edberg 70/1

pelle edberg Pelle Edberg is one for the brave. Everybody knows Pelle, he’s the guy with bandana and a smile. He gets very few starts on Tour these days and as the season winds down these tournaments become almost like Majors for the lower order players. Edberg currently stands at 112 in the Race to Dubai and will be looking at this week as another opportunity to avoid the dreaded Q-school at the end of the season. Edberg tied second at the Saint Omer Open (on US Open weekend) and has played well in Austria in the past. He tied third at Fontana in 2008 and top tenned again last year.

Daniel Vancsik 100/1

DanielVancsik051109 Our ridiculously long odds shot this week is Daniel Vancsik. Last week marked a milestone for the Argentinean, it was his first under par tournament finish in eight attempts. While Vancsik is well known on Tour for being in the top five long drivers, it is his accuracy with the big stick that gives him problems. However last week he was one of the straightest drivers in Holland, a stat which in turn gave him a greens in regulation percentage similar to winner Kaymer and an 11th place finish. If he can keep that going on the longer Diamond course in Austria this week and get a few more putts, he could add to his Italian and Madeira Island wins.

Predicted Odds

ryan moore rick bobby funny pic The US Tour takes a break this week before the Tour Championship and along with the top 30 left standing came stories of agony and ecstacy. Because of a points “reset”, of the 30 players headed to Atlanta, only the top five in points are guaranteed the FedExCup should one of them win. Last Sundays big movers Dustin Johnson and Paul Casey join Matt Kuchar Charley Hoffman and Steve Stricker as the only players who can control their own destiny and claim the $10 million bonus. Players who produced the goods last week to get into the Atlanta filed included Kevin Na, KJ Choi, Camilo Villegas and the suitably attired Ryan Moore. The most notable dropouts were Ryder Cuppers Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler who join Tiger Woods outside the bubble.


padraig harrington flightscope kudo The Tour rolled into The Netherlands last weekend for The KLM Open and all the talk on Tour was about the wildcard picks for the upcoming Ryder Cup. The inclusion of Padraig Harrington into the team was a surprise to everyone except the gang on Tour. Padraig is one of the best team players around and has one of the highest work ethics on the range. He is constantly working on ways to improve his ball flight and is currently working hard on a solution to improve his driver flight. He has his own launch monitor which is a Flightscope Kudo which he uses it to check his ball flight. This expensive bit of kit measures a multitude of different aspects of the ball flight including the speed, launch angle and spin rate of the ball. The player can then make changes to the club shaft and head and then check the “numbers” to make sure nothing is lost in distance, control or carry yardage. This instant feedback makes it an invaluable piece of technology for the players and one that Harrington will use to make the necessary positive changes to his driver in time for the Ryder Cup.

With Derek Murray,

sean foley tiger woods funny Tiger Woods unofficial new swing coach Sean Foley is a fan of the “stack and tilt” swing method and plans to incorporate aspects of it into his charges swing. Tour pro Charlie Wi revealed last week that his coaches Andy Plummer and Mike Bennett, aka “Stack and Tilt” because of the geometrical swing method they champion and are often contacted by Foley. Wi is a loyal follower of the method and others such as Mike Weir and Aaron Baddeley have had success with it. Woods was asked two weeks ago if his work with Foley involved the "Stack & Tilt" teachings. "There are some parts of it that do look like it," Woods said. "But there are other parts that are very, very different." Speaking of Charlie Wi, he suffered badly from nerves throughout the final round of the BMW Champioship to the extent that he needed a par on the last to secure his place at the FedEx final in Atlanta. After pulling his drive into the trees, Wi chipped out and then needing to get up and down, zipped his ball back past the flag and stop ten feet from glory. His pulled put meant he dropped three shots in the closing holes and slipped him to 32nd in the standings and out of the Tour Championship.

paul casey floyd mayweather funny He may be number nine in the world and have the matchplay knockout ratio equivalent of Floyd Mayweather Jnr but that apparently wasn’t good enough for Captain Colin who passed him over for a pick. However it looks like Casey has recovered from the snub as he said a trip to Pine Valley after The Barclays with some of his buddies lifted his spirits. Commenting on the fact that only five of the 12 team members are PGA Tour members Casey said "I understand the European Tour wants to protect the European Tour, but we also want to get the best team possible, but I don't know what the solution is." Casey also revealed he has booked a cycling holiday for Ryder Cup week. "I'm in neutral ground that week," Casey said. "I'm going to Canada!"

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If the body hangs back on the downswing it will generally result in a golfer hitting the ground behind the ball and kill any power. Poor technique in rotating the hips can be the underlying cause.

Other causes of having a hanging back swing characteristic can be:

  • Not having enough loft on the driver and in a effort to get the ball in the air the body leans back.
  • The ball can be too far back in the stance.
  • The golfer has a reverse pivot or spine angle that can lead the upper body to be out of position. As a result the golfer sits back to try to get the body in position to create a powerful strike.

A great drill to get the correct feeling of how the body should rotate in the downswing is the Merry Go Round. Get into golf posture and place a club shaft across the shoulders. Rotate the hips and shoulders till the clubface returns to face to the target.

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dustin johnson bmw championship 2010 No controversy, no rules officials but loads of drama for Dustin Johnson.  The golfing Gods gave Johnson a break as he carded a 69 to edge out Paul Casey by one shot.  The clutch shot came at the 17th where Johnson zipped it in to two feet for the birdie that was to ultimately give him his fourth Tour victory.  Johnson now lies second behind Matt Kuchar in the FedEx Cup standings.

 martin kaymer klm open 2010 rond three Martin Kaymer birdied the last two holes of his third round to lead by one at the KLM Open in the Netherlands. If Kaymer wins he will make it five wins in a row by members of Colin Montgomerie's Ryder Cup Team. The run began with Kaymer himself taking his first Major Championship last month and has included wins by Peter Hanson at the Czech Open, Edoardo Molinari in the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles and Miguel Angel Jiménez at the Omega European Masters.  A win in Holland would see Kaymer open up a lead of almost €500,000 over Graeme McDowell at the top of The Race to Dubai.

ryan moore matt kucjar round 3 bmc championship 2010Meanwhile stateside Matt Kuchar may be as sick as a small puppy but his infection that has taken his voice luckily didn’t affect his swing.  He goes into the final round only one behind Ryan Moore.  Kuch is a nailed on favourite to win the playoffs but has battled illness all week. "I wanted so bad to just pull out of the tournament and go home," Kuchar said after Saturday's 1-under 70 moved him into a tie with Dustin Johnson and Charlie Wi at 7 under. "The last thing I wanted to do was be out here trying to play golf. "But I'm very pleased with the way I'm feeling at the moment."

Only the top 30 Advance
Player Current Projected Comment
37 2 Survived triple bogey to shoot 69 and move into tie for the lead
57 20 Tied for second last year, Friday's 65, the low of the day, left him in third
Nick Watney 30 35 Teetering on the brink after a 74 yesterday
Rory McIlroy 29 39 Currently tied for 63rd, likely needs 27th or higher to advance
44 24 Frustrated by second-round 72, he's still well in hunt
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The incredibly accurate computer prediction program says Tiger Woods will win at Cog Hill.  The equation has proved to be a very handy betting guide.  Here’s the top-10 predictions:

Pred Posn


Seas. Ave finish

Last 5 events finish

Scoring Avge

Cuts in a row made

% Chance of win


Tiger Woods







Steve Stricker







Jim Furyk







Phil Mickelson







Matt Kuchar







Luke Donald







Zach Johnson







Hunter Mahan







Ernie Els







Rory McIlroy







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