January 23, 2015 - 6:02pm
andrew.prezioso's picture
Zach Johnson
Zach Johnson ended up with a double bogey on the 10th hole.

This is like a trick shot gone wrong

During the second round of the Humana Challenge, Zach Johnson was trying to hit a shot off of the rocks. The results were, well, not good. 


Related: Humana Challenge leaderboard

To make matters worse for Johnson, not only did his ball go backwards but it went into the water. He ended up with a double bogey on the hole.

He did make up for it a bit later on by holing out from bunker on the 12th hole.

Zach Johnson hits shot the wrong way
January 23, 2015 - 11:27am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Charles Barkley
Just when you thought Charles Barkley's golf game was bad, he went ahead and showed off his new golf belt.

And you thought Charles Barkley's golf swing was bad (you're right, it is).

But is it possible that his golf-belt game is worse?

Barkley caught some heat from good pal Kenny Smith last night during NBA on TNT coverage when he revealed his new golf belt:

You've got to love Barkley. He always "owns" it.

h/t NBA on TNT

Barkley's golf belt resembles his golf game
January 23, 2015 - 11:13am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
trick shots
Golf trick shots aren't as easy to pull off as the Bryan Brothers make them look. Just ask these two guys.

As we all know by now, the Bryan Brothers have made incredibly difficult golf trick shots look so easy.

The truth, however, is they're not easy. In fact, more often than not, the attempt can go terribly wrong.

Like it did for these two guys:

There's nothing funnier than a guy getting hit with something below the belt (unless your said guy). 

You cringe, then you laugh, like we did with this video.

Here are the Bryan Bros. to show us how it's done:

h/t GolfChannel.com 

Ouch: Trick-shot attempt gone wrong
Bhrett McCabe
Dr. Bhrett McCabe says failure on the golf course can be productive, if you learn from it.

Golfers need to "break the fishbowl" to end the fear of failure and persevere, said a prominent sports psychologist Thursday at the PGA Merchandise Show.

Birmingham-based Dr. Bhrett McCabe, a performance and sports psychologist speaking on the topic of "How your practice may actually be causing you to get worse, not better," said challenging golfers -- particularly younger ones who aren't used to failure -- how to deal with adversity is the best way to build How to Win Awareness.

McCabe used the analogy of the fishbowl to show how golfers limit themselves because of their fear of failure.

"If you buy a goldfish, it's never going to grow bigger than the size of the fishbowl," McCabe said. "Your human mind is the same way. If all you think is inside a limited space, that's all you'll ever do. We have to break the the fishbowl.

"When players come to work with us, we have a challenge. We have to assess them, find out where they are. Do they truly believe that they can overcome their success and failure? Do we believe they can persevere?"

More: Russ Ortiz's passions include golf, giving back to the community

It's what separates players with similar skill sets but different mental toughness.

"We've all seen it," McCabe said. "The kid hits it like a rock star on the range and should never struggle, and yet they shoot 5-over par. It makes no sense. Why? They don't always know how to deal with the adversity."

As a sports psychologist, it's McCabe's job to remove the mental limitations that are keeping good players from performing to their potential.

"How do we break them out of their fishbowls? We get them out of their comfort zones," McCabe said. "I want them to learn to trust their tools under various conditions, and learn how to deal with adversity and persevere."

McCabe played baseball at Louisiana State for legendary coach Skip Bertman. Recently, McCabe had a chance to sit down with his former coach and pick his brain about this very issue.

"What's the biggest factor you see in the success of your players?" McCabe asked Bertman. "He said, 'I've been coaching for 25 years and the No. 1 factor is what I call 'HWA.' It's How to Win Awareness.

"Think about that. Every player out there is a talented player. They can move a golf ball around the course. There's not much separation between Tour players. But it's the players that know how to win when it matters."

So how do you measure HWA in golf?

"It's when a golfer looks at a shot and they adapt their skill set to the shot that's at hand, rather than trying to prove they can hit the shot," McCabe said. "When a player plays for validation -- that they should hit that shot -- you're telling yourself that if you don't, it's because of an inherent flaw in you. And a player that plays for validation is always weak."

Many times, single-sport athletes don't learn how to fail. And when they find themselves in a stressful situation, they don't know how to handle the pressure effectively.

"What I find is, the players start telling me, 'I thought I was going to play well this week," McCabe said. "With all the work I've done, I should have played well.' And I hear that unbelievably bad word -- should. 

"Why did you think you had a great week of practice, that you should have played well? What happens is, players are playing for their optimum experience. They've created in their minds that every round of golf that they play has to be ideal to be successful."

And McCabe said that creates unattainable expectations.

"Expectations are through the roof," McCabe said. "What they don't understand is that great performances arise from average performances. They don't arise from other great performances. The hardest round (after a great round) is the next one, because their expectations are up."

So many books on the subject deal with athletes "being in the zone," something that McCabe doesn't ascribe to.

"Why? Because it happens five percent of the time," McCabe said. "So I'm going to invest my time and energy in training my athletes how to get into the top five percent. I believe they're going to get there naturally -- by doing the other 95 percent efficiently."

Stop fearing failure on the golf course, sports psychologist says
Russ Ortiz
Contributed photo/Justin Silverstein
2nd Guy Golf executives Russ Ortiz, L.J. Richardson and Justin Silverstein pose with their product line.

When Russ Ortiz retired from major league baseball in 2010, he decided to follow his two passions in life: Golf and helping others. And by starting a golf apparel company called 2nd Guy Golf/2nd Girl Golf, Ortiz has the opportunity to do both at once.

His "passion" -- a word he used several times in conversation Thursday at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando -- didn't come to the forefront until his career as a pitcher began to wane. But Ortiz said he always loved playing golf, right from the time he learned as a kid growing up in Van Nuys, Calif.

"It really wasn't until I was in the major leagues that I began to really get serious about golf," Ortiz said. "So after I retired, I tried to golf as much as I could. It really became a passion of mine."

Some of that passion was fueled during his time with the Atlanta Braves -- since fellow starters John Smoltz and Greg Maddux were avid golfers.

"When I was with the Braves, John Smoltz took us to some unbelievable places," Ortiz said. "Pine Valley on multiple occasions and Aronimink, Butler National in Chicago, Whistling Straits, Galloway National in Atlantic City. In Houston, we played the Houstonian.

"It was incredible. I look at the top 100 courses in the country, and through the Braves and John Smoltz, I've hit at least 30 of those. It was definitely fun."

Related: Ten of the best Baseball Hall of Famers on the golf Course

So why does Ortiz think so many baseball players -- particularly pitchers -- are so good at the game?

"As pitchers, we have more time to play golf because we're not playing baseball every single day," he said. "That's one of the things. But it is true there is a correlation between pitching mechanics and golf swing mechanics.

"If I was having trouble locating my pitches, I always reverted back to my pitching mechanics. And it really does help. It helps me understand the mechanics of the swing better -- not only the balance, but the turn, the torque and the fluidity. I can always relate to the pitching mechanics when I had issues on the mound."

Interestingly enough, Ortiz feels his short game is his strength, although he can also drive the ball well.

"Anywhere from 120 yards in, I've gotten good at that," Ortiz said. "I need to work on my putting -- I need more one-putts.

"I've always known how important your wedges are because they give you a chance at birdie. But you have to get off the tee first. Now that I'm a better golfer -- and a wiser one -- I realize I need to work on putting more. But my wedges are my go-to."

Eventually, Ortiz became a scratch golfer through his frequent playing at Alta Mesa in Mesa and Superstition Mountain in Gold Canyon. But he still felt like something was missing -- and that's why he formed his golf apparel company.

"When I retired and decided I wanted to get my hands dirty with something after a couple of years, I wanted to make sure I did something I was passionate about, something that I could enjoy," Ortiz said. "I didn't want to start from scratch in business and work my way up, so I had the financial ability to start my own business if I wanted to.

"The idea of this came up during my playing years. I researched a bit on how to pull it off, I felt like I could do this and be great -- and it all started with my passion for golf and wanting to help others."

Related: Bubba Watson becomes part owner of baseball team

There are dozens of golf apparel companies represented at this year's PGA Merchandise Show, but Ortiz's may be unique in that 100 percent of the net proceeds goes to charity. Proceeds from the sales of men's apparel goes to Feed My Starving Children, which packs 50 million meals a year for distribution world-wide. And women's apparel sales help Josie's Angels, a rescue home in the Phillipines that serves more than 100 girls living in an impoverished community.

"If we sell a shirt online, it allows us to feed a child for two months," Ortiz added.

Ortiz said the company's No. 1 goal is making great quality products.

"We're very serious about making the best product we can," he said. "And right behind that is the giving-back aspect. We do it through golf apparel.

"That's the cool thing for me. We're a very young company but we're working on making a difference, and hoping to look back and see how many people we've impacted with our products."

Russ Ortiz's passions include golf, giving back to the community
Inspire Greatness
Montana Pritchard/PGA of America
Wednesday's "Inspire Greatness" panel included Suzy Whaley, Molly Solomon, Donna Orender, Lynne Doughtie and Paige Mackenzie.

In order to grow the game for females, golfers of both sexes have to break down the barriers that intimidate women and keep them from enjoying the sport to its fullest extent. That was the unanimous opinion of the "Inspiring Greatness" panel Wednesday at the PGA Merchandise Show.

PGA Secretary Suzy Whaley, Golf Channel executive producer Molly Solomon, former WNBA President Donna Orender, KPMG vice-chair Lynne Doughtie and LPGA member Paige Mackenzie discussed Wednesday what is keeping women from taking up golf, and what can be done to level the playing field so that more female executives can take advantage of the networking and business relationships formed from playing golf.

Orender said one of the reasons why women have a hard time feeling comfortable is because it's a sport created by men and remains very male-centric.

"Men were there first, and so therefore the culture around the game of golf is very male-oriented," Orender said. "No blame, no judgment. It is what it is.

"But (the sport didn't evolve) with the kind of things that women find enjoyable. We're much more about comradery than necessarily winning. Women find a barrier there."

So what happens, according to Orender, is that women feel somewhat "out of the loop" when it comes to understanding and talking about golf.

"There's the physical aspect of it -- these very dark, very male-oriented environments -- the game itself and the language of it," she said. "We don't understand it, so we feel very intimidated by it. But male pros may feel a little intimidated by taking care of women who walk into their pro shops, too. So there's all these things where people don't know how to approach each other, but when they do, it's fantastic."

Tremendous progress has been made, Whaley said, but there's still more ground to be made up.

"Certainly when it comes to welcoming women into the game and speaking a different language," Whaley said. "I think we're more aware of the things we're saying that perhaps might turn them off or intimidate them."

When women overcome that initial reluctance, they usually learn to love it, Mackenzie said. Golf is challenging on so many levels, which makes it so addictive.

"There's nothing about golf that can ever be perfected and I think that's probably way it's filled with perfectionists," Mackenzie said. "You can't bowl a 300 in golf.

"When you introduce the game to somebody, there needs to be an emphasis on the process, and that there are stepping stones. And celebrate each of those stepping stones, and not try to be the very best the first time out. Enjoy the process and the game of golf."

Whaley agreed.

"You may be really comfortable at a level where you are and that's OK," she said. "It's OK to stay there. But it's also OK to want to get better."

If there's one thing Mackenzie would like to see is more business women involved in golf. The PGA of America's partnership deal with KPMG, kicking off with the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Westchester Country Club in June, is a key first step in the process.

"I play in pro-ams every single week and I can count on one hand the number of women executives I play with," Mackenzie said. "The most elite companies, their CEOs, the top clients are there -- and it's such a great opportunity to network and build relationships in business. And it's something I think there's a ton of room for growth on the women's side. So I'm really happy we're bringing business to golf as well."


PGA women's initiatives panel inspires greatness for female golfers