Sunday, April 14, 2013
I've always made a total effort, even when the odds seemed entirely against me. I never quit trying; I never felt that i didn't have a chance to win.
- Arnold Palmer
Drive for show, putt for dough -- Page 2F
Charities score big in benefit tournaments -- Page 4F
Need help with your game? Download a pocket caddy -- Page 6F
A special supplement to The Daily Nonpareil
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The Daily Nonpareil
ON THE GREEN
Staff photos/Kyle Bruggeman
Kim Mann putts on the warm-up green at Dodge Riverside Golf Course in Council Bluffs on April 2. When putting, Mann recommends keeping your head down, keep a consistent tempo and hit the ball first then watch the ball after you’ve hit it but not at the same time.
Drive for show, putt for dough Chad Nation
“Why am I using a new putter? Because the old one didn’t float too well.” That quote is attributed to 1982 Masters winner Craig Stadler and anyone who has ever played the game of golf knows the frustration the flat-stick can cause at times. There’s also another common adage on the links, “drive for show, putt for dough,” which means anyone can work enough to look good off the tee, it’s what you do when you’re on the green standing over a 12-foot putt that separates golfers. It’s also why you seldom see a long-drive champion competing on the pro tour. And even for the weekend hacker, the difference between a good round and a great round can be found on the green. Putting would seem like the easiest stroke to master, there is so much less movement than during an iron or fairway wood swing. You don’t have to worry about your hips moving forward, the distribution of your weight from back to front and the back swing is not as dynamic. But putting requires equal concentration and practice. Jeff Nielsen, PGA assistant golf pro at Dodge Riverside Golf Club, said putting is a crucial part of the game, but it is seldom practiced. Sure, before a round a golfer might warm up on a putting green, but in between rounds, the putter stays in their bag. “People go to the driving range to hit balls all the time,” Nielsen said. “But nobody really practices putting.” Two-time Masters champion Ben Crenshaw, who is widely
viewed as one of the best putters in the last 50 years of professional golf, has said that there is
no correct putting stance. Crenshaw was mentored by legendary Texas golfing guru Harvey
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Penick, who Crenshaw said told him not to try to look like anybody else when you putt. While stances vary wildly, there are three basics to putting the ball consistently Nielsen said: Your “head, hands and knees.” “It’s a general tip,” he said, “your head and knees don’t move and your wrists stay fairly solid,” when putting through the ball. And putting through the ball is critical. Nielsen calls it “looking good when you’re done.” Nielsen said a common mistake weekend golfers make is recoiling the putter after striking the ball or immediately pulling out of the stroke and standing up to watch the putt. “Maintain your posture and finish the stroke,” he said. “And leave the putter there. Turn your head to watch the ball.” And as for practice, Crenshaw said Penick recommended using one ball and moving around the green. Crenshaw tells a story of standing on the green with a dozen balls practicing one putt
over and over again. Penick walked out of the club shop and said, “That’s good for that putt, you’ll never have the putt the rest of your life; go putt the other holes.” Crenshaw said that has stuck with him. But repetition can grow confidence. Nielsen said that setting a goal of making five or 10 putts from three or four feet before moving further out is a good drill for practicing. Then maybe do the same thing from five or six feet. “The more confidence you have from five or six feet, the better putter you are from a greater distance because you are not afraid to putt the ball past the hole,” he said. That confidence can be the difference between a good round and a great round. “What goes through your mind is important; if you believe, it makes putting easier,” Nielsen said. “If you are out on the course hoping, you have no chance.” And really all we are looking for is a chance.
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Sunday, April 14, 2013
Palmer still sets example of legible autographs DOUG FERGUSON Associated Press
Arnold Palmer reached for a black pen and a blank piece of paper, and for a moment, he went back in time to the first grade. “My first year in grade school, my teacher was a lady by the name of Rita Taylor,” Palmer said. “The blackboard around the room had ‘The Palmer Method of Writing,’ and that was the system with which we were taught to write.” The King didn’t invent the popular method of teaching cursive. Among athletes, he perfected it. Pen in hand, his right arm moved in a slow, circular motion for several seconds, as if rehearsing. Then, he started writing what has become one of the most famous autographs in sports. Even at 83, Palmer makes sure every fan can read his name. And like so many other aspects of his golfing career, his influence spans generations. “I’ve always heard you need to make it legible, and I try to do that,” Tim Clark said as he signed for fans behind the railing at Doral this spring. He used lower case for his entire name, and it was as clear as can be. Where did he hear this advice? “Arnold Palmer,” he said. Tiger Woods has a distinctive style with his autograph, perhaps not as legible as Palmer’s, but easily recognizable. He signs his name with the same penmanship he would use to write a letter, and if you pay close attention, there is this idiosyncrasy in the way he does it – he always dots the “i’’ in his name. “I do it every time,” Woods said. “Sometimes I’ll hit the ‘W’ and sometimes I hit the ‘T’ because of the speed I’m being pushed along or people moving around.” The Masters isn’t the best place for fans to collect autographs. Augusta National has a strict policy of limiting requests to a designated area near the practice range and during the Par 3 Tournament. There are no autographs allowed on the golf course. A prized possession, however, is a yellow Masters flag signed by players. The question, as with any other golf memorabilia, is whether anyone can read the names. The example set by the likes of Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Byron Nelson, Ben Hogan and so many others has not carried over to this generation. Look at any flag filled with player autographs and try to figure out who they are. Some players sign. Most just scribble. “I’ve never enjoyed trying to figure out who’s who,” Phil Mickelson said. “When you play on a Ryder Cup team and a name is missing, and I can’t figure out any of them that are actually on the flag, there’s no way to find out who’s missing. That’s always frustrating. It’s just showing respect, whether it’s for fans or whoever you’re signing for.” Padraig Harrington and Honda Classic winner Michael Thompson figured this out. For more than a decade, Harrington’s signature looked like it belonged on a doctor’s prescription. To say it was illegible would be a compliment. The “P’’ and the “H’’ could barely be detected. Otherwise, it looked like the ink stamp from a chicken claw. And then he won the British Open at Carnoustie. “Up to that, I always signed my name as I would sign a check,” Harrington said. “My caddie gave me a lecture after I won the Open. He said if he was a little kid and asked me for my autograph, and that’s what he got, he’d be very disappointed.” The Irishman took that to heart. He now signs his full name, a style similar to Palmer. “If you’re going to sign it, you’d be better off signing less and signing it properly,”
The signatures of several golf pros are shown on a page at the Houston Open. Above, Michael Thompson took advice about his signature from caddie Matt Bednarski about a month after they began working together in 2011. Previously, it looked like an EKG reading, a mostly flat line except for two spikes. Now, nearly all 15 letters in the name are as clear as can be. Below right, Ian Poulter finishes writing his name with a big loop, just like his mother always did, that becomes a circle, and then he draws a hole and a flagstick in the middle of the loop.
Above left, in this April 6, 2004, file photo, four-time Masters champion Arnold Palmer signs autographs for fans. Palmer makes sure every fan can read his name. And like so many other aspects of his golfing career, his influence spans generations. Left, Padraig Harrington, center, signs autographs for fans in San Antonio. For more than a decade, Harrington’s signature looked like it belonged on a prescription from a doctor. He now signs his full name, a style similar to Palmer. Other names aren’t so easy to read (above, Ernie Els).
Harrington said. “I do notice the others (that can’t be recognized). And I think it says a lot about the person.” Zach Johnson signs with a “Z’’ and a line through it. He won’t win a penmanship contest, but there is no question whose name is on the flag. He is happy with his effort and believes it is legible. And then he saw another name on the flag. “Not as legible as that – oh, wow,” he said. Above where he signed was the name of Michael Thompson, nearly all 15 letters in the name as clear as can be. Much like Harrington, Thompson took the advice of his caddie, Matt Bednarski, about a month after they began working together in 2011. Previously, it looked like an EKG reading – a mostly flat line except for two spikes (the “M’’ and the “T’’) and a short drop for the “p.” “I give credit to Matt. He told me to make it legible,” Thompson said. “I changed it to write every letter, to emulate Arnold Palmer. He has probably the greatest signature in history. You can’t
read 70 percent of the names on a flag. Every now and then you can kind of make out who they are if you know the players. Mine sticks out like a sore thumb. I’ve gotten more compliments on my autographs from fans, kids and parents than I ever would have imagined.” Rory McIlroy still has a lot room for improvement. His signature is a series of loops that are as curly as his hair. It is difficult to decipher the “R’’ or the “M’’ or even what language it is. A young girl with an oversized foam golf ball at the Houston Open proudly showed her autographs. There was Steve Stricker, Justin Leonard,
Mickelson. And then she gleefully said McIlroy had signed it. Where? She pointed to a bunch of loops. “I think he signed it upside down,” she said. Mickelson is a master of autographs, signing for up to an hour after his round, though he has started to cut back as he gets older and has other obligations. “I’ve got so many letters that it’s hard to make every one meticulous,” Mickelson said. “I do the best I can to make sure you know whose it is, but I still have to make it somewhat quick, too. But look at Palmer, Hogan, Nelson, Nicklaus. They always felt
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like if it was worth the time to do it, then do it right. Make it legible.” Ian Poulter, of course, wanted some style. He finishes writing his name with a big loop that becomes a circle, and then he draws a hole and a flagstick in the middle of the loop. “If you look at people’s signatures through the years, some you can read, and most you can’t,” Poulter said. “And if you make something a little different, identifiable with the name, everybody knows what signature it is. Everyone knows my autograph.”
It wasn’t always that way, of course. He started his career signing his full name – Ian James Poulter – until he won his first European Tour event. “When you’ve just won the Italian Open and you’re asked to sign a couple of hundred things, we need to think this out,” Poulter said with a grin. “That winter I changed it to ‘IJ Poulter’ with the green. But I don’t think everybody sees signing the same way. Some guys see it as a pain. ... Some guys quite enjoy it. I quite enjoy doing it.” And then there’s John Daly, who has three autographs – one for kids, another if he detects the fan wants to sell it, and third for personal items. “It’s totally different on legal stuff,” he said. “I’ll do ‘John P. Daly.’ For autographs I know they’re going to sell, I scribble. It’s the ugliest signature you’ll ever see, and they can’t sell those. “But for kids,” Daly said, stopping to sign for a young boy at Innisbrook, “that was a beautiful signature.” Harrington said it can get annoying to see the fans looking to make money from an autograph, especially when they’re pushing kids out of the way to get it. But as he finished walking 100 yards along the fence, signing items and saying, “You’re welcome” to every one who thanked him, he still saw it as a privilege. “It’s all worthwhile when there’s one kid who genuinely wants your autograph,” he said. “He’s not there to get 10 autographs, 20 autographs. And when you sign that one, you say, ‘I signed a thousand autographs just to get to that one, where he’s actually going to go home and keep that autograph.’ It’s not going to be, ‘Look, I got 20 autographs.’ It’s going to be, ‘I got Padraig Harrington’s autograph.’ “Then it’s worth it,” he said. “That’s the pleasure you get.”
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Charities score big in benefit tournaments tim johnson
A number of nonprofit organizations hold benefit golf tournaments to raise money for their programs. And golfers usually come through for them. Golfers – including people who only golf at charity events – have come through many times for local organizations. Over the years, golfers, along with local business sponsors, have helped local charities raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to help pay for programs, services and facility improvements. Children’s Square U.S.A.’s Chip in for Children is one of the longest-running benefit golf tournaments and has been very successful, said Michaela Lewis, development assistant at Children’s Square U.S.A. The 21st annual event will be May 13 at the Council Bluffs Country Club. “It’s one of the most consistent we have, in terms of the number of people,” she said. The golf tourney and the Jason Awards Banquet are the charity’s two biggest fundraisers, she said. The event’s timing – right after Mother’s Day – makes it one of the city’s earliest golf tournaments of the season, which makes it attractive to golfers with spring fever, Lewis said. “A lot of people haven’t been out yet,” she said. Something exciting happened last year during Wings of Hope’s 18th Annual Golf Tournament, said Carolyn Ettinger, executive director. Another longtime tradition, the event helps pay for Wings of Hope’s support services and resources for cancer patients. “Dr. Zlomke did get a holein-one at last year’s tournament,” she said. The ace was “totally unexpected,” Ettinger said. “I think he was the most surprised of anybody,” she said. The Sam Marvin Charity
Charity Golf Tournaments May 11 – Make-A-Wish Foundation of Iowa, Southwest Iowa Committee, Shoreline Golf Course, 210 E. Locust St., Carter Lake. Proceeds help the committee grant the wishes of southwest Iowa children with life-threatening medical conditions. Invitational, open to Griffin Pipe Co. vendors, employees and retirees. May 13 – Chip in for Children (benefit for Children’s Square U.S.A.), lunch 11 a.m., shotgun start noon, Council Bluffs Country Club, 4500 Piute St. To register, contact Michaela Lewis at email@example.com or call (712) 325-5843. May 16 – The Council Bluffs Fire Department will host a fundraiser golf tournament, starting at 10 a.m., on May 16 at Shoreline Golf Course. For more information call Chris Eichhorn at (402) 630-6260. June 3 – Sam Marvin Charity Golf Classic, registration 11:30 a.m., shotgun start 12:15 p.m., Dodge Riverside Golf Club, 2 Harrah’s Blvd. For more information or to register, call The Center at (712) 323-5995. June 6 – Outlook Nebraska Inc. tournament, 10:30 registration, noon shotgun start, Indian Creek Golf Course, 3825 N. 202nd St., Omaha. Register online at outlooknebraska.org or call (402) 614-3331. June 7 – League of Human Dignity Omaha-Southwest Iowa Benefit Golf Event, registration at noon, shotgun start at 1 p.m., Bent Tree Golf Club, 23579 Highway 6. For more information, call (712) 323-6863. June 7 – Deaf Missions Golf Challenge, registration, lunch and short program, 11 a.m.; shotgun start, 1 p.m., Fox Run Golf Course, 3001 Macineery Drive. Captain/player tee-off May 6 at 6 p.m.; RSVP by May 2 to chadentinger@ deafmissions.com or call (712) 322-5493. July, TBA – Wings of Hope Cancer Support Center. Aug. 17 – Spirit of Courage Celebrity Golf Classic, Dodge Riverside Golf Club, 2 Harrah’s Blvd. Sept. 6 – Connections Area Agency on Aging (formerly Southwest 8 Senior Services), Council Bluffs Country Club.
Golf Classic raises money for member scholarships and programming at The Center, said Tom Jensen, executive director. It is named in honor of the late Sam Marvin, former president of The Center’s board of directors and a key person in the campaign to raise money to build the current facility. The League of Human Dignity holds a joint OmahaSouthwest Iowa Benefit Golf Event. Proceeds support the Omaha and Southwest Iowa Centers for Independent Living to help them fulfill their mission, promoting and supporting independent living and the full integration of people with disabilities into society. Visit online at leagueofhumandignity.com and follow the organization on Facebook.
Deaf Missions’ goals for its event on the links are to enlist “prayer warriors” to pray for the ministry of Deaf Missions, share Deaf Missions’ story and to raise $50,000 so Deaf Missions can finish translating the book of Psalms into American Sign Language. Proceeds from Outlook Nebraska’s tournament support Camp Abilities Nebraska, a week-long residential sports camp for youth 9-19 who are blind, visually impaired or deaf-blind. The Spirit of Courage Celebrity Weekend golf tournament, like the rest of the weekend’s activities, raises money to provide assistance to patients at Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital’s cancer center.
Frank Froehle tees off from the 10th hole during the 2008 Deaf Missions golf challenge at Bent Tree Golf Club.
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Sunday, April 14, 2013
Tips for newcomers to the game of golf Few hobbies can be as enjoyable one moment and as frustrating the next as golf. Golfers know a great putt can be quickly followed by a bad tee shot, and maintaining their composure through the highs and lows of the game is a key to success on the links. Maintaining that composure isn’t always easy, even for the professionals. It’s even more difficult for beginners, who quickly learn the game of golf involves more than just spending sunny weekend afternoons on pristine golf courses. In fact, golf can be quite demanding, and beginners would be wise to heed a few tips before hitting the course. Don’t commit to an expensive set of clubs right off the bat: Golf clubs can be very expensive, so beginners should buy an affordable secondhand set of clubs so they can get the hang of what they like before spending a lot of money. Visit a pro shop and explain that you are just a beginner. The shop will likely make some valuable suggestions and might even let you try out a pair of clubs. In addition, many driving ranges allow customers to rent clubs, and this can be a great and inexpensive way to find the right clubs for you. Take lessons: Even the very best at self-teaching might find it extremely difficult to become a selftaught golfer. When first trying your hand at golf, take some lessons and don’t expect to be playing 18 holes any time soon. Before hitting the course, where you might be discouraged and you might frustrate those golfing behind you, learn the fundamentals by taking a few lessons at the driving range. Learn from a professional, who won’t offer you any hidden secrets to golfing glory (there aren’t any) but will offer sound advice on the game’s fundamentals. Take the game home with you: Beginners can even take advantage of golf’s vast popularity by taking the
game home with them. This doesn’t mean building a putting green in your backyard. Rather, purchase some instruc-
tional DVDs to learn the game during your down time throughout the week. Many golfers don’t have time to hit the links during the week, but
LPGA’s Mozo accepts Tenn. student’s prom invite KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Golfer Belen Mozo has granted the wish of a Knoxville high school student and agreed to be his prom date. Mozo’s agent, Miles Soboroff, confirmed Monday that the Spanish golfer will accompany 19-year-old Alex Notte to the Bearden High School prom on May 11. Alex’s older sister, Arielle, told The Knoxville News Sentinel that she helped extend the invitation to Mozo by shooting a video and posting it on YouTube and Facebook. Mozo learned of the video, called Alex’s mother, Kristine Notte, to confirm the invitation was for real, and then accepted it. The sister said Alex, who has hearing, vision and neurological disorders, has been taking golf lessons and met Mozo two years ago at the Wegmans LPGA Championship in Rochester, N.Y.
they do have time to watch some DVDs when they get home from work. Such instructional DVDs can help you master your grip and stance, which you can then take with you to the course over the weekend. Have fun: Golf is a fun game; it just takes time to hone your skills. But even if you aren’t ready for the professional tour after your first few rounds, you can still have fun. Don’t let some beginner’s frustration, which every golfer experiences, ruin the fun of the game. Take note of your surroundings when you hit the links, and appreciate the time you’re spending with your group. If the game becomes more a source of frustration than fun, then take a break and put in some more work away from the course, be it at the driving range or studying at home.
LPGA’s Belen Mozo
– Metro Creative Connection
A little fun in the sun: Helping kids learn the ins and outs Adults who play golf know just how fun and frustrating the game can be. Whether you’re a veteran golfer or someone just learning the links, golf can be challenging. But as exacting as the game can be, it also can be just as rewarding, even for kids. Children who embrace the game of golf will learn a host of lessons they can apply in all facets of life. A humbling game even for professional golfers, golf can teach kids lessons in humility and the value of persistence even when things aren’t going your way. Golf is also a great way for parents to get kids off the couch and outdoors for some fun in the sun. Instead of spending summer afternoons in front of the television, kids who play golf are out patrolling pristine golf courses while getting some cardiovascular exercise along the way. Golf can also strengthen a child’s handeye coordination, which can help them in other activities, including many different sports. Though many people do not begin playing golf until they’ve reached adulthood, it’s never too early for boys and girls to start learning the game of golf. Parents of preschoolers can start their kids off with a toddler play set. Though it’s just a toy, a play set can help lay a solid foundation for future golfers. Kids who have watched Mom and Dad play golf or practice their swing can develop their own swings on their play set.
As kids approach school age, don’t overlook the nearby putt-putt or miniature golf range as a valuable teaching tool. Miniature golf clubs are small enough for many children to use comfortably, and kids can use miniature golf courses as a place to put any lessons or advice on putting to good use. What’s more, a miniature golf course is more than just golf, with creative courses and other fun activities, so kids won’t feel overwhelmed with golf.
When kids move on from preschool to elementary school, some might want to tag along with Mom or Dad to the driving range. You should try to avoid overwhelming kids with too much instruction or information. Instead, keep things as simple as possible, teaching them the basic swing and encouraging them no matter how quickly they adapt.
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As kids enter middle school and approach high school, those who are enjoying the game of golf can take advantage of the driving range if they haven’t already begun to. A driving range typically has markers that indicate the distance of a regular hole, regardless of which tee you will play from on an actual golf course. Kids can aim for holes at shorter distances to learn how far their drives are going. You can then adjust the lessons you teach your children based on how far youngsters can drive the ball. As a child gets closer to high school, you might want to buy the child his or her
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Mobile applications, such GSA Lite & Pro, will record information about a golfer’s swing motion and offer tips.
Apps help golfers improve skills, have fun Mike Brownlee email@example.com
What a world. There is a smartphone app that records a golfer’s swing motion and sends information straight to the phone, giving users tips on their game. The GSA Lite & Pro application calculates swing tempo, club face angle and head speed, along with attainable ball distance, according to BowlingGreengolf.com. Another app touted by the website is Swing by Swing’s Golf GPS Range Finder. With more than 21,000 courses in its database, finding the course a golfer’s playing is almost certain. Once selected, the app portrays aerial imagery of the golf course based on where golfers are standing. For iPhone users, the iPING app targets improved putting. The app analyzes and displays consistency on screen using three criteria: stroke type (determined by how much the putter face rotates during the forward stroke), impact angle (the putter’s face angle at impact, rela-
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tive to address) and tempo (a measure of the duration of the backswing relative to the forward swing), according to
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Golfwrx.com. The app works by computing consistency over a series of five putts where your
stroke type, impact angle and tempo are measured, displayed and stored for every putt in that session, the website said. Consistency scores are averaged over time to build a Putting Handicap (PHcp). The iPING app works in conjunction with a PING cradle, which holds the mobile device and clips onto the putter shaft just below the grip. Cradles are available for either the iPhone 4 or iPod touch (4th generation) due to the different sizes of the devices. The cradle costs about $30, while the app is free. The most popular app out there is from GolfLogix, a comprehensive application that offers a variety of features, including tips, discounts on golf apparel, statistics tracking and a lot more. Not all apps are about measuring distances or improving your swing. Some are just enjoyable on their own. Super Stickman Golf and successor Super Stickman Golf 2 are, well, a lot of fun. The graphics are simplified, with a retro feel that
harkens back to the arcade days. The easy to play but difficult to master (especially in later levels) game is among the more popular golf game apps out there, BowlingGreengolf.com said. The game lies in the design of the holes and the physics employed to recreate accurate movement of your ball through the air. With sandtraps and water
hazards joined by other obstacles, such as conveyor belts, huge gaping canyons, pillars and more, the challenge is not just to get the ball in the hole, but to do so creatively. Playing the game alone is fun, but playing against friends and racing to see who can get the ball in the hole first makes it even more enjoyable.
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Timothy J Cortney
Financial Advisor 1505 W Broadway Suite 1 Council Bluffs, IA 51501 712-352-1305