Golf Buzz

April 28, 2016 - 9:26am
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T.J. Auclair
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Rob Labritz
USA Today Sports Images
Trying to beat those milestone scores like 100, 90, 80 and 70? In the second of this four-part series, PGA Professional Rob Labritz offers up some great advice that's sure to make you a better player. For this week, Labritz focuses on those trying to break 90.

It's no secret that if you're going to shoot lower scores on the golf course, it's going to take a commitment to improving your short game.

In last week's "Best advice for breaking 100" piece, PGA Professional Rob Labritz put an emphasis on putting and chip shots.

This week, as we look toward breaking 90, Labritz says we're still going to use that idea of "working from the green backwards to the tee."

"The gist of it is this -- if you're a player struggling to break 90, chances are you're not hitting a lot of greens in regulation," Labritz said. "To make up for that shortcoming, you're going to need to get dialed in from 100 yards and in. If you want to consistently break 90, you need to dedicate time to working on pitch shots from 100 yards and in with all of your wedges -- pitching wedge, gap wedge, sand wedge and lob wedge."

RELATED: Advice for breaking 100 | Short-game instruction videos | Putting videos

With the ball in the middle of your stance, Labritz said to start hitting shots with all your wedges beginning at 30 yards and working yourself up to 100 yards in 10- to 15-yard increments.

"Using all your wedges results in two big positives for your game," he said. "First of all, you're going to develop touch by understanding how long a swing you need to use to reach those distances. Secondly, you're going to give yourself options on these shots."

Those options, Labritz said, relate to two things: trajectory and roll out on the green.

Since a shot with a pitching wedge will have a lower trajectory than one with a lob wedge, it's going to have more roll out on the green.

"You need to tighten up the wedges," Labritz said. "You're going to find out the different trajectories with which you hit each of your wedges and then you're going to see where the ball lands and where it rolls out. You've got to hit these shots from the fairway and the rough since the ball will respond differently from the rough -- it will affect the trajectory. Once you get the hang of all your wedges, you're going to have access to front flags, middle flags and back flags because you'll know how each wedge shot is going to react."

Early in this process of dialing in your wedges, Labritz recommends taking just half swings -- hip-high on the backswing and hip-high on the way through -- from 30, 40 and 50 yards out.

Once that feels comfortable, you can start moving back -- up to 100 yards tops -- and lengthening the swing. This process is designed to also help you build a solid foundation for the full swing, which will come later.

It's also important, Labritz noted, to spend time working on 8- to 10-yard bunker shots.

"Again, it's all about developing feel and getting familiar with how your ball reacts from different types of lies," he said.

The bottom line is this for those of us who want to consistently break 90: get comfortable with your scoring clubs. 

Rob Labritz, who has played in four PGA Championships (he was low-Club Professional in 2010 at Whistling Straits), is currently the Director of Golf at GlenArbor Golf Club in BedFord Hills, N.Y. He was also the PGA Met Section Player of the Year in 2008 and 2013, as well as the Westchester Golf Association's Player of the Year in 2002, 2003, 2008, 2013 and 2015. You can learn more about Labritz at www.RobLabritz.com and you can follow him on Twitter, @Rlabritz.

Faces of Golf at PGA National
PRLog
The "Faces of Golf" sculpture features bas relief portraits of 116 golfers from Mary, Queen of Scots to four-time major champion Rory McIlroy.
 
At the Open Championship last summer, acclaimed artist Lawrence Holofcener unveiled a pretty impressive piece of golf art. His sculpture, "Faces of Golf," features a collection of portraits of golfers, golf course designers and golf commentators who've made their mark on golf history down through the years.
 
The original work's permanent home is the British Golf Museum in St. Andrews, but a new casting recently went on display at PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. – the home of the PGA Tour's Honda Classic. Holofcener is British-American and lives in nearby West Palm Beach. This is the only copy of the work in the United States. 
 
"Faces of Golf is our resort's most recent addition of artwork and has been a real conversation starter since its installation just prior to the Honda Classic," said James Gelfand, general manager of the PGA National Members Club. "Its prominent display in the hallway en route to the PGA pro shop and golf courses evidences our respect for the game's proud heritage."
 
 
The sculpture – started in clay and finished in bronze – features bas relief portraits of 116 golfers from Mary, Queen of Scots – an avid golfer whose reign spanned 25 years in the 16th century – to four-time major champion Rory McIlroy. Also among the faces are Seve Ballesteros, Laura Davies, Walter Hagen, Ben Hogan, Bobby Jones, Phil Mickelson, Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Gene Sarazen, Sam Snead, Annika Sorenstam, Lee Trevino, Harry Vardon and Tiger Woods.
 
"I have long been a fan of professional golf and felt inspired to celebrate the careers of these great men and women I have followed and their legendary predecessors,"  said Holofcener, whose most famous work is "Allies," a sculpture of Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt sitting on a park bench deep in conversation. "As an artist, I wanted to create a sculpture which includes faces of people from different times, different places and different backgrounds – a representation of some of the remarkable people who have contributed, over the years, to this wonderful game."
 
If you'd llike to see more, here's a video from Golfing World on the "Faces of Golf" unveiling at the British Golf Museum last summer:
 
 
Bubba Watson and friends make 23-second eagle
Bubba Watson via Twitter
Randall Wells (l) and caddie Ted Scott turned to celebrate the 23-second eagle they made with Bubba Watson, who's waaaay back on the teebox.
 
Remember the other day when we showed you a group of European Tour players who set a new Guinness World Record for playing the fastest par-5 hole ever? Bubba Watson saw that, too, and he and his buddies set out to break that brand-new mark.
 
ICYMI, at the Spanish Open two weeks ago, three teams of European Tour players set out to break the world record for fastest par-5 hole ever played – it had to be 500 yards or longer to count. Sergio Garcia, Raphael Jacquelin and Thorbjorn Olesen essentially created relay teams down the length of the 500-yard, par-5 fifth hole at Valderrama Golf Club – the first player drives the ball out near where the second player is standing; he then tries to hit it up by the green, where the third player is stationed; and so on, until the ball is in the cup.
 
Jacquelin and his teammates shattered the old record, and their 34.8-second birdie earned them a plaque from the Guinness Book of World Records. You can see their hilarious video here.
 
 
The other day, halfway around the world at Genzou Golf Club in China, Bubba and friends came up with an ingenious way to break the record – the longest part of the attempt comes in having to hit two long shots to reach the green. So they found a 503-yard par-5 hole with a huge dogleg around a lake and had Bubba drive it directly over the lake at the green.
 
He bombed his tee shot as you'd expect, and it landed in a greenside bunker, where his longtime friend Randall Wells hit a gorgeous shot to about three feet. From there, Bubba's caddie Ted Scott knocked home the putt for an eagle. 
 
Their elapsed time: 23 seconds. Talk about speed golf!
 
The only downside to their achievement – no one from the Guinness Book was on hand to witness it. But Bubba posted the video on social media – and if that doesn't make it official, I don't know what does.
 
Here it is:
 
 
 
 
Rakuten/YouTube
Rakuten hopes using flying drones to deliver snacks on golf courses will catch on.

The future is now, at least when it comes to delivering snacks to hungry golfers in Japan.

Japanese electronic service and Internet company Rakuten is testing a new service at the Camel Golf Resort in Chiba that would allow golfers to use their smartphones to order snacks and small golf items to be delivered via flying drones to anywhere on the course.

Here's a video demonstration of how it works:

 

 

 

 

According to the news release, it's a one-month trial beginning May 9. The drones are reportedly very stable, even in strong winds.

While the whole idea sounds pretty cool from a nerd's perspective, you have to wonder if the drones will become more than a minor distraction. Imagine lining up for a putt and having one of these buzz overhead.