FA Cup shocks and shockers …
The FA Cup lived up to its traditions last weekend and giant killers were a plenty. Man City losing at home to Middlesbrough, Palace beating high flying Southampton, Leicester getting one over on Tottenham, lowly Cambridge getting a deserved draw against Man Utd (how poor were they?!) but the best against the Mighty Chelski! Bradford City 4- Chelsea (at home) 2! Jose your boys took a hell of a beating.
This has to rank as THE biggest giant killing shocks since Ronnie Radford buried Newcastle (even with Super Mac, Malcolm Macdonald) in the non-league Hereford mud all those years ago in 1972! If you need a reminder, click here to take a look, it's worth a watch! Jose was magnanimous in defeat and went into the opposition dressing room to congratulate them. Love him or loathe him Jose is a class act. He said it would be a disgrace if they lost earlier in the week, lose they did and admitted in the post-match interview "it was a disgrace". Most managers stand by their players, not Jose, if they are poor he says it and that's how it should be.
Man City had been playing exhibition football in Dubai and flew home on the Friday. They really treated Middlesbrough without respect. City without Toure almost look rudderless. Big boots to fill while on international duty but the money they have spent, someone must be able to do his role?
West Ham won at Bristol City in another awful game, last year it's the sort of game the Hammers would have lost after the epic match with Everton but not this season. Things must be good at the Boleyn, even Sakho who couldn`t go to Africa Cup of Nations with a "bad back " has agreed not to play until his Country got knocked out decided to come off the bench and score the winner!
With all that happened last weekend West Ham and Aston Villa are now among the favourites to win the trophy, yet if we have another round of matches in the last 16 only 3 Premier league sides will get to the quarter finals, then dare we dream of THE most unbelievable Cup Final for many a year?
Now that would be the magic of the FA Cup!
Look who`s back in town…
Dubai, the last stop on the Desert Swing and Rory is back in the saddle honing his game for Augusta and The Masters in just a couple of months' time. He's spent the last 3 weeks out there either competing of practicing so expect Rory to podium at least this week. A Brilliant field for one of The European Tours' outstanding stops. Rose, Stenson, Westwood, Kaymer, McDowell, Els are all there before heading back to America for literally the rest of the year. Meanwhile in a far off place known as Phoenix, Tiger is back out at the, now world famous, Waste Management Open on the TPC Scottsdale course in Arizona. If he gets off to a slow start I can see the headlines already, "toothless Tiger…" etc after his acrimonious clash with a camera man recently on the slopes of Europe. The event is famous for its 16th hole par 3 where more than 1 million fans will hang out and banter with the players. However, any players who miss the green from 155 yards, banter is a bit of a mild description, it`s more likely to be verbal abuse, especially if the player has no affiliation to Arizona in some way or form. Some years ago Tiger holed his tee shot - everyone went ballistic and he went to a Californian School, what would happen if the likes of Mickelson an Arizona State superstar did it? Off the Richter scale? The Sponsors must love it. More and more people are attending this event every year, some watch it just for the 16th hole. Nobody really cares who wins, it's all about the 16th, what with the memorabilia the players give away and the caddie races to the green, beer stands, who wouldn`t want to go there and experience that?
Sadly this year the tournament organisers are toning things down, no sponsor giveaways from the players are meant to take place. I see that as the players giving something back to the fans. I know it won`t change the feel of the event but it does keep the carnival atmosphere going. It's what golf needs, not every week but just to prove to the uninitiated that golf can be fun, entertaining and yet still command traditions.
Don`t know about you but I`ll be watching this week. To see what Tiger has to offer and to watch the fans 'go at it' with Phil, Bubba, Tiger, Ricky and so forth around 16. It's the one week where players must practice their 155 shot on a regular basis when warming up. Who wants to be booed for the walk of shame up to the green for missing the green and even the stewards heckle?
Lessons do help
Member, Marc Beard certainly thinks so. Putting really hasn`t been his bag for a few years now, so we first took a look at his set up and did a follow up lesson on routine. Like many, indifferent putters are unaware of why they actually can putt so badly and always blame the putter or the green speed.
Marc's set up needing changing due to the inconsistency of distance control. We created a little more space between him and the ball which gave him a better view along the ball to target line, reducing the need to manipulate the putter face with his hands. A classic problem with mishitting putts is body movement so we 'locked' his lower body into position which again reduced the need to manipulate the putter. First week improvement… NO 3 PUTTS! His goal was to actually count how many times he struck the putt correctly and whether the ball started on the desired line. Measuring the success of any change is essential to see improvement and I would advise this after any lesson you have.
As you can see from the photos the positional changes will allow the putter to swing freely and allow the focus to be maintained on a solid contact on the chosen line. Locking the body in place also allows a free swing of the arms and shoulders to once again reduce inconsistent contact on the ball.
Last week we created a routine to follow once the decision was made on line to the hole. This may seem a little mundane and be part of the reason so many Tour players are a little robotic looking but putting is THE BIGGEST influence on anyone`s score. Imagine if you could one putt every green how good your scores would be?
Marc committed to his routine which actually kept him paying attention to his putt. He putted so well that he won his sweep of around 30 players that afternoon with 36 points. If putting is really a difficulty for you and, let's face it, how many times have you said "you can't be taught to putt"? Marc has seen the improvement, perhaps we can help you as well?
Karl Morris booked…
Put it in your diaries, Karl Morris will be back in the house on Wednesday 6th May with the follow up to last year's seminar. This presentation will be a further insight into scoring and saving shots, I'll expand over the following few weeks but I look forward to seeing you there.