Dustin Johnson really didn't need the 7600 feet above sea level to overpower the course in Mexico to win the first WGC event of the season. But it helped. The World No1 put his main rivals in their place with a display of power hitting turning the course into a pitch and putt. Anyone who can pitch it on a par 322yard par 4 with an iron is a formidable player. DJ was just that person. He played some fantastic golf all week and with the much improved wedge game and putting stats, Johnson looks like he is going to be hot favourite for Augusta next month. He was so dialled in with the wedges it helped on the awkward Mexican putting surfaces and with that face balanced putter and change to his stroke over the last 6 months. He has the three most important clubs in the game playing all the right notes. Great to see a truly international podium as well, with Tommy Fleetwood, Ross Fisher and John Rahm in the top 4. Rory made a welcome return to the game after injury. In the last group with leader Justin Thomas and DJ on Sunday, The Ulsterman couldn`t get anything going but he looks ominous for many of the others going forward. Justin Thomas, like Rory just couldn`t live with DJ but playing alongside both will help him in the future for sure. What of a surprising resurgent Lee Westwood? Once again an almighty "crumble" mid round which has become all too common for the Worksop man. Could you back him at Augusta? Unlikely. So what of my 2 picks? Stenson cried off with "delly belly" after just one round, great effort Henrik, bet the fajitas are off the menu for a while. Rafa Cabrera Bello struggled to get going. He will still be worth a few sheckles sometime soon.
As entertaining as the event was much of the talk was again on rules and how to use them to your advantage eh Phil? First he gets a drop for someone picking his ball up and leaving with it, so no penalty and drop at the nearest point to where they thought it was. Then he gets the head ref agreeing to "sprinklergate" and an outrageous free drop from an unplayable lie under a bush. With a very unusually wider than normal stance he convinced the Ref that he would play the shot just like that which meant a sprinkler head was affecting his set up! So it pays to sound convincing.
So what has Dustin changed? He has worked super hard on his wedge control, both distance and spin. Before he could hit a wedge miles but control was inconsistent. Now he stands them to "attention" the required distance better than just about everyone else.
His putting was always suspect as his flaw would cause miss hits and calamity from inside 5 feet. DJ changed the putter balance from heel toe to face balance to suit the new stroke. He no longer allows the putter to drag to the left through impact (see pic) and feels the face pointing to the target line for longer (see pic). The combination of putter and stroke has done wonders for his confidence and undoubted ability.
If you hit "weak, dribbly" putts, perhaps it`s something you might want to consider doing. Let me guide you through the minefield that is putters. Many of you have probably just picked a putter because it looks good or the grip is the right thickness. It's essential to get fitted correctly for it. Do you even know what type of stroke you put on the ball, except a bad one?? It could be as simple as using the wrong length putter. Why not make an appointment and let me get you putting like DJ?
Of course we can use the technology to understand wedge control with the GC2 monitor alongside this. No matter how far you drive a ball, as a friend always said "if you have no short game, you have no golf game."
"Wilko" leads the qualifying
Steve Wilkinson led last week's Radin Cup qualifier in miserable weather. A 4 up score off 6 handicap was exceptional and covered the field by 2 shots from Carl Vanderhook who finished 2 up respectively. Third tied were Joe Knight and a welcome back to form for Kwai Hau. Top 31 and last year's winner now go onto a match play event throughout the season.
Modernising Golf's Rules
Last week the R&A proposed some key changes to the Rules of Golf from 2019. Their Rules Modernisation initiative has been underway for a few years now and this is the next stage in that process. The aim is to not only make the Rules easier to understand, but also to address some of the game's current problems, such as speed of play, and ensure they fit the needs of today's game.
Please spare a couple of minutes to complete our survey, which gives you the chance to have your say on the proposed changes.
We've picked out some of the most significant Rules changes for you to digest in this survey, before giving you the chance to say whether you agree or disagree with each of them. It'll be great to know your thoughts.
Have your say here.
Arsenal had a dreadful Champions league last 16 this week. Losing by the second ever biggest margin to Bayern Munich over 2 legs 10-2. The biggest? Bayern against Sporting Lisbon a decade ago. Perhaps had they been called Cheating Lisbon they might have done better? Is this the nail in the coffin for Mr Wenger? He is due to decide on a new contract shortly, it might get decided for him after these displays. Lose to Lincoln in the FA Cup at the weekend and he may not get to the end of the season, thanks for the memories Arsene.
6 Nations again this weekend. England look to beat the Old Enemy at HQ to solidify their place as European Kings. The Scots always have a few tricks up their sleeve which they may need against a more powerful pack. It will no doubt be a huge spectacle. It may all come down to the final game next weekend in Dublin on Paddys weekend if Ireland get the better of Wales in Cardiff. Enjoy the weekends sport.
New arrivals are coming in thick and fast at the moment. If you need a cardboard box now is the time to ask! Last week it was Oscar Jacobson's spring summer range and this week in walks the new Sketcher shoes. So popular were they last year we added a few extra colours and a style to the range. Take a look at the new collegiate style or the updated Elite 2 model. Both are of course waterproof and have all the comfort of any pair of Sketcher you may already own.
We are also back up to our full range of PING G series metals, so thanks to those of you who patiently waited for them. We will be adding the PING clothing range this season to complement the hardware, so keep a look out for that display shortly.
The Masters draw is filling up quickly. If you would like the chance to add a little interest to the event in early April this is your opportunity. £5.00 per ticket gets you in the field with loads of ways of winning even with the worst score of the day. When has anyone ever scored 85 and won money? It could be you. Avoid delay as this is a short field event and the players go quickly.
Mizuno JPX 900 driver doing the job…
New purchasers of the latest Mizuno JPX 900 drivers are so pleased with their acquisitions. Adrian Davies has never hit the ball so far and consistently straight as he is currently hitting it.
"I drove into fairway bunkers on some holes I never knew existed. If anyone wants a recommendation for a new driver, I'm happy to offer it. This new driver is spectacular. Thanks to Dave for fitting it correctly, it has helped to inspire me to get out and play again"
James Irving agreed. "This new driver has added yards to my tee shots. Everyone knows I`m not the longest but I have the confidence to know I can get on or around the par 4s now. I`m looking forward to being even more competitive this coming season, thank you Dave and Mizuno!"
Take a look next time you are in Mizuno are no longer just about great irons. Their metal woods are finally getting the acclaim they deserve.