Bryson DeChambeau

De Chambeau – Golf’s new Mr Original

 

The Havemeyer trophy returned to home soil this year as US amateur superstar Bryson De Chambeau closed out fellow American, Derek Brand in an all American final at Olympia Fields (III) Country Club this earlier this week.

Although the US Amateur honuor board is mostly dominated by the Stars and Stripes lets not forget the Havemeyer trophy has spent the last two years on foreign soil with England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick defeating Australian’s Oliver Goss in the 2013 final and South Korea’s Gunn Yang snatching a victory over Canada’s Corey Conners last year.

This year’s all American final saw Bryson DeChambeau overpower Derek Band by the largest winning margin in recent history.  Indeed we have to look back 17 years in the US Amateur record books to 1998 when David Gossett beat Sung Yoon Kim 9 / 8 at Pebble Beach to see a similar winning margin.

However, it’s not the all American final, the impressive winning margin or the fact that the trophy is back on home soil that’s got everyone talking.  It would appear that we have a golfer that’s not a mainstream look-a-like.  Bryson’s unique set of irons and his natural motion, single plane swing are what’s got everyone talking.

De Chambeau’s unusual custom made Edel cavity back irons each have a head weight of 280 grams built on a 37.5 inch shafts with a lie angle of 72 degrees finished with a JumboMax grip (weighting 120 grams).  Yes that’s correct – you are not mis-reading this, all Bryson’s irons (3-iron through to 60 degree wedge) are the same weight, length and lie angle (with differing loft).

If De Chambeau’s unique club make up isn’t enough to get one half of the golfing industry (the club manufacturers) into a panic then his unique swing will be getting the other half (teaching professionals) sweating under the collar.

“I think it will be interesting to see if any manufacturers jump on board with Bryson and Edel’s level of customization”.

Working in the golf industry I hear, see and read a lot of commentary about the “ideal swing”.  Generally people cringe when they see a golf swing that’s not on plane and ask the question “how does that work”? I think it’s great for the game of golf when a distinctive player comes along who has a swing thats a little different because it gets people thinking about what works and why.

In the nanny state of golf that we live in most (not all) golfers are relatively standard in their swing and equipment set up.  It would be interesting to see what would happen if we all let our golf swings to evolve naturally.

Do you think we would all be as individually recognisable like Jim Furyk, Bubba Watson or… Bryson DeChambeau?

Links to other interesting articles I have read on De Chambeau

Paula Creamer & Suzann Pettersen flying-a-round with Blue Angels & Breitling Jet Team

Paula Creamer & Suzann Pettersen flying-a-round with Blue Angels and Breitling Jet Team

 

August has seen two of the LPGA’s highest fliers leave the golf course temporarily to reach heights of a different kind.  The adrenaline rush of performing at the highest level of golf wasn’t quite enough for the likes of Paula Creamer or Suzann Pettersen as they took to the air testing the altitude for a supersonic experience and the chance to hang-a-round with some elite fast flying pilots.

Paula Creamer received a surprise birthday treat when she was delivered to the Blue Angels hangar in Pensacola.  From the images posted online Creamer’s famous trademark smile grew even wider as she flew well beyond Cloud No.9 taking off in a Bowing F/A-187 Hornet to fly with the Blue Angel’s No.7 Capt. Jeff Kuss.

As we already know, the LPGA tour players are a super competitive bunch and it would seem Suzann Pettersen was keen to challenge Creamer’s Hornet flight .  A couple of days after Creamers experience Pettersen took on the fast flying challenge raising the bar to another level – literally.  Not to be outdone by Creamer – Pettersen took to the skies with the Breitling Jet Team snatching a ride in an L-39C Albatros.

Both ladies reported experiencing all the feelings you might get from playing a major:  “adrenalin, excitement, anxiety and nervousness”.

For those of you that missed this or don’t follow Twitter, Facebook or Instagrammy goodness here some links to images of the girls having supersonic fun:

Paula Creamer taking off …     Paula with the Blue Angels

Suzann Pettersen having a blast !     Suzann in the cockpit

Blue Angels – The Boeing F/A-187 Hornet

Breitling Jet Team – The L-39 Albatross

Please don’t forget to leave a comment – ENJOY!

You might like to read another article I’ve written about Suzann Pettersen at ProGolfNow

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Have golf clubs, will travel… My top travel tips

 

Golfers are an indiscernable crowd, they come in all shapes, sizes and sexes. You may not realise it but you’re probably sitting next to one now. We are relatively normal people most of the time.

Now us golfers have many long kept secrets about how great we think our game is and how amazing the places are that we play. Good news though – to hopefully inspire you to take up the sport I’ve decided to break ranks and share a couple of places that I think a pretty special.

Are you hooked?  I thought you would be.  It’s now time to head to your local PGA Professional Golfer, get some lessons, buy some clubs and enjoy the world of golf and golf travel with my top 7 golf travel tips.

TIP 1:        BOOKING THE TRIP

If you are set on taking your own clubs with you try and book as direct a route as possible using only one airline if you can (or at very least use one alliance). From my experience, the more times you transit and change airlines the more likely you are not to see your bags at the other end.

TIP 2:        PROTECT YOUR CLUBS

Whether you are planning a long or short haul flight or regional road trip its important to make sure your clubs arrive at your destination in the same or better shape than you do.

I recommend buying a hard full size zip travel golf bag on wheels. It must have a hard top in case your bag gets accidentally dropped on its head in transit like mine did (and the wheels are handy for mobility around airports).

I highly recommend buying the full size bag as I bought a half size one and it annoyed the hell out of me.  When I went to use it on the course all the clubs got tangled up together and it was difficult to get the clubs in and out.

And … my other reason for recommending the full size bag is you never know when you’re going to stumble across a new piece of equipment (if you know golfers, you know they never have enough equipment) so trust me – you DEFINITELY need to make sure there is that little bit of extra room in your bag for potential holiday purchases.

Note: It’s also a really good idea to pop some socks on your driver and or fairway woods if they don’t already have covers and stuff newspaper in around the irons so they don’t rattle around too much.

Remember its also a good idea to take any electronic devices out of your bag and pack them in your suitcase.

TIP 3:        CLEAN YOUR GEAR                          

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Quarantine officers do not like dirt so make sure all your gear clubs, bag and shoes are squeaky clean whenever you travel so you can avoid getting pulled up at inspection.

TIP 4:        WEIGHT AND PIECE RESTRICTIONS

Chant after me: I will not get caught out. I will not get caught out. I will not get caught out.

Because … trust me, it’s very easy to get caught out when you’re travelling with odd shaped sporting equipment.

Weight and piece restrictions can be different from domestic to international even though you are with the same carrier.

Note: Make sure you know the weight restrictions and how many pieces you are entitled to and whether you can spread the weight amongst the pieces. (Luggage scales are always handy).

Note: Read the fine print and remember that your golf clubs are classed as an OVERSIZE item of luggage (not REGULAR).

If you do find you need extra pieces make sure you buy them ONLINE during the period stipulated on your booking confirmation or you will get stung sometimes double the price at check in.

Remember to drop off and pick up your clubs from the oversize counter at the airport. This is almost always in a different location to the regular drop off area and you can have your heart in your mouth when your clubs don’t arrive on the carousel as they will usually be waiting for you at the oversize pick up.

TIP 5:        GET SOME APPS

Packing Pro

Packing Pro is a super-enhanced version of the popular, top-ranking Packing app. If you desire great syncing & sharing options, display customization, a huge catalog, lots of sample lists, & additional, built-in Expert assistance, then Packing Pro is for you!

Will “automagically” create lists based on the number of adults (males & females), children & days, as well as temperature, destination, food preparation & clothes washing preferences.

OANDA Currency Converter

FlightTrack 5

Tracking flights has never been easier. Stay informed of your air travel details 24/7 with timely notifications on your iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Even when you’re not the one in the air, you can be well informed about the flight status of your friends and family.

FOURSQUARE

Foursquare helps you find the perfect places to go with friends. Discover the best food, nightlife, and entertainment in your area.

TIP 6:        MY HOT SPOTS IN AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND

TAS           Barnbougle Lost Farm

QLD          Brookwater & Paradise Palms Resort & Country Club

VIC            Commonwealth Golf Club

SA             The Grange Golf Club

NSW         The LakesBonnie Doon & Narooma

ACT          Yowani

WA            Araluen & Kalgoorlie Golf Club

NT             Alice Springs Golf Club

NZ             Queenstown Golf Club & Cape Kidnappers

TIP 7:        THE ULTIMATE TIP FOR THE GOLD TICKET GOLF EXPERIENCE

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I always try and save the best for last…  and yes this is a GOLD TIP because it’s a Virgin Australia Gold Membership I’m chasing with this post for a Virgin Australia competition.

There is a wise old saying that all good things take time, so if you have time to spare then this is the experience for you…  Do you want to know more?  You must pass the test …

Sanity Test for a Serious Golf Adrenaline Junkie

Q1. Do you go into withdrawal after the Masters?

Q2. Does the whiff of fresh grass clippings after some serious double striping alert your senses.

Q3. Do you one day hope to rub shoulders with the crème de la crème of golf behind the ropes.

3 Answers in the affirmative means you pass.  Please proceed.

Yes this very unique and different way of taking in a major golf tournament that will blow your argyle socks off.

Have you ever thought of  Volunteering?!!

I have had friends that have done this and they come back with insanely fantastic stories of who they met and what they have gotten up to, so I seriously encourage you to consider this as an option when sizing up your next golf trip.

Volunteers relish US OPEN

Here are a few links to some of the big tournaments volunteer pages.

2016 US Open

2016 PGA Championship 

2015 Solheim Cup

If I won the Virgin Australia Gold Membership I think I’d like to use the points to travel and volunteer at the  2015 Solheim Cup and the 2016 ISPS Handa Womens Australian Open.  It would be amazing to attend these events and blog for Virgin Australia and Hungry4Golf.

….. And don’t forget

All those other little things like:

Booking a cab (you might need a station wagon), travel insurance, currency (money cards are good but they don’t always work), turn off the hot water system, put the mail on hold etc, etc, etc,

and of course don’t forget to RELAX AND HAVE FUN!!

Michelle Wie on course to make “Hawaii Five-O” guest appearance

Yes you read it correctly the larger than life LPGA star Michelle Wie is a lady of many talents. We have all seen Michelle tame the little white ball on tour and some have observed the mastery and imagination she puts into her paintings of skulls, robots and ladies with big hair.  But wait for it… there is yet more to add to her list of extraordinary talents.

Yes Michelle is turning her hand to art of another form and this time it is acting.  Golf is still seen as Wie’s priority but she is momentarily leaving the fairways and her paints and blank canvas for a role in the hit series Hawaii Five-O (and no just incase you were wondering – it doesn’t involve visiting a wine bar or being kidnapped or robbed).

Apparently Wie plays herself in the episode where she gives some friendly golf advice to Lieutenant Commander Steve McGarrett (Alex O’Laughlin) on how best to beat Captain/Swat Commander Lou Grover (Chi McBride) in a golf event.

Will this be the start of bigger things to come – Who knows??

The episode is said to go to air 20 Feb 2015 on CBS

LPGA – Tasty news Brooke Pancake prefers waffles

LPGA Player Brooke Pancake created a sensation at the PGA Show last week when she announced that Waffle House would be her new bag sponsor.

Folks in USA woke up to Good Morning America touting the story.  The tasty news soon went viral with NBC, NPR, ESPN and the print media reporting delicious leading headlines of “waffles v pancakes” and that “Brooke Pancake had betrayed her own breakfast food”.

The partnership apparently came to fruition through a friend of an acquaintance who knew the founder of Waffle House.  Though the partnership was finalised last year the announcement was left for the hype of the PGA Show to spread the word for the new sponsorship deal.

When interviewed Pancake advised ironically that though given her surname of “Pancake” she had always preferred waffles anyway and that “Waffle House had been one of the most unbelievable sponsorships so far” with “crazy support”.

This was just such a tasty story that I had to share it!!

Ladies European Tour – Fresh thinking

In an innovative move the LET (Ladies European Tour) have decided to experiment with traditional tournament scheduling.  The move will see the upcoming Turkish Airlines Ladies Open finishing on a Wednesday.

The tournament to be held in May aims to break the cycle of both the Mens and Ladies tours competing for the prime weekend television time slot by starting the tournament on a Sunday.

This year we see the event moving from The National to the picturesque Carya Golf Club in Belek, Turkey with a record purse of 500,000 Euros up for grabs. Golf Channel and Sky Sports are reported to be among the networks said to be providing a live telecast of the event.

This is very novel thinking indeed!  Come May it will be interesting to see how this change will rate with golf audiences when it fills the lull early in the week.

Turkish Airline Ladies Open 17 – 20 May Carya Golf Club Belek, Turkey

Back on the blog!

Back on the blog!
Back on the blog!

Yes it’s been a very long time between drinks.  I started this project about a year ago and then subsequently changed jobs and had a death in the family (well 2 deaths in the family if you count the family rabbit).  It’s was all a bit life changing and time consuming but I’m back and ready to write again.

Lately I have been sitting in the Twitterverse which has really inspired me. So a big thanks to all my followers on Twitter for getting my writing mojo back up and running and also for providing interesting reading, photos and quotes and many laughs.

I hope to post a couple of times a week so stay tuned or drop in for a chat on Twitter @Hungry4Golf

Tiger Woods “While we’re young” and the pace of play

What’s the status quo in relation to slow play at your club?  Slow play is an issue that is constantly in the headlines in golf club newsletters and magazines.

This problem affects the enjoyment of the game for some men and women.  After 30+ year of playing golf I feel I have become somewhat immune to the problem, you allow 4 to 5 hours to play a game. Sometimes it takes less and sometimes it takes more.

We all have our bad days and the odd slow round here or there … but you do tend to get to know players who are traditionally slow, sometimes you can avoid them, sometimes you can’t and there is generally nothing you can do to change some slow players other than asking them to play at the back of the field.

The USGA are now tackling the problem of slow play with an initiative called “While We’re Young”.  They enlisted the likes of Tiger Woods, Arnold Palmer, Clint Eastwood, Annika Sorenstam and some other golfing greats to get the message across.  I quite like these short clips featuring Tiger and Annika and have inserted them below:

 

Karrie Webb – 17 years strong

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Pictured above my golf bag, complete with autograph. I’ve got a great story as to how I came by this gem. (We’ll save that for another post.)

 

Questions were being asked – when will Webb win again?  Is Karrie still the stellar contender she was 17 years ago when she bounded onto the LPGA Tour?

Absolutely!!

With a couple of top ten finishes earlier this year and then first place at the ShopRite LPGA Classic last week, Webb found herself back at the winners podium.

Webb has been sitting a little under the radar on tour of late returning mixed results with sprinklings of top ten and top 20 finishes, however her two stroke victory over Shanshan Feng at the ShopRite LPGA Classic last week broke her two year drought on the LPGA tour.

In her post tournament interview Karrie talks about her form and improving her mental approach to the game.

See Karrie’s interview here:

 

 

Golf on ice

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Solly teeing off on a frosty June morning 2013

Is extreme cold weather part of your golf year?  For around four months of the year I hit off in single digit temperatures.  For someone who has spent the greater portion of their life golfing  relatively close to the Tropic of Capricorn, playing in an icy climate can create some circulatory challenges.

How to keep my fingers warm is the biggest of them.  Some mornings when the temperatures dip below zero and then hover between five and ten degrees celsius for the rest of the day, I find it hard to move let alone feel and grip a golf club.  Sometimes the icy fog just doesn’t lift and the day gets darker and colder, it’s on these days I have to say my mind just switches off game mode and enters survival mode (I’m not going die of hypothermia, I feel like I am going to die of hyperthermia but I’m not going to die of hypothermia….. am I ?).

Strangely enough, in extreme weather conditions, it’s not unheard of for me to have a handicap breaking score.  I guess it’s not strange really as the expectation moves from concentrating on each shot to just completing the game and of course living (I read about this theory somewhere in a golfing mind over matter book, I should really try to implement this strategy every round – if only it was that easy).

It’s not so bad anymore, my coping mechanisms are better but I do still feel the cold.  I have to say though it’s taken me years to work out what to wear to keep myself sufficiently warm and mobile.  The main problem was finding the layers that I could swing a club in comfortably.  A lot of the high tech golf clothes either didn’t stretch enough or were too noisy.

…..Sometimes I think I’m playing with a herd of shushing elephants when we’re all geared up in our rain suits.

Shushing Elephants = The sound of a group of golfers make when they are wearing their wind breakers and / or wet weather gear.

What I wear to keep me warm: Thin merino long sleeve shirt, thin lycra long sleeve shirt, golf shirt / long or short sleeve, corduroy longs, thin wool socks with thin cotton socks, mittens for between holes and a fleece cap.

Happy golfing.