By Kevin Sylvester, Buffalo Sports Page

After mentioning that I needed to come up with a name for my golf column with something other than Golf Notes (Incredibly lame), my friend Kert suggested two titles. I’m using one of the two and will not tell you the other in case I decide to change it (I actually liked it too and don’t want someone else to steal it). So I bring you, Lift, Clean, and Place. 

Lift

Pace of play was a strong topic of discussion this past week on the Tee 2 Green Radio Show (Saturday mornings 7-8am on WGR Radio). The time it takes to play golf is the greatest obstacle to playing more often, in my opinion anyway. How many times have you wanted to go play a round of golf and thought ‘I don’t have 5 hours to get it in’? I bet the answer is often. 

It should not take 5 hours to play 18 holes of golf. It should take 4. When you break it down, that’s 13.33 minutes per hole. If you want to round up to 15 minutes per hole, it increases the round by 30 minutes to four and half hours. That’s still too long for a regular round of golf. I understand there are tournaments, league play, and bets to be had, but we all still need to pick up the pace. 

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Think about playing quicker. You have to be aware of the time, the other groups on the course, and how you want to get all 18 holes in. This also requires thinking about your next shot before you get to the ball. 
  • Get a a lesson. The better you play, the faster you will play. More fairways hit = more greens in regulation = quicker rounds of golf. 
  • If you’re sharing a cart, grab some clubs and go. One of my favorite ways to play golf is 4 players sharing a golf cart, all four bags strapped to the cart. It’s a fast pace because the group shares walking, with the players on foot grabbing several clubs from the tee box and walking to tee shot locations. This is what every cart player should do. Too often, I see players waiting in the cart while their partner plays. THIS IS WRONG! Drop that player off and head to your ball, or grab clubs and walk to yours. 
  • Putt out. You do not need to mark every ball after a missed putt, or walk around the entire hole. You get the read after the first look, and finish the hole from there. And if you’re allowing gimme’s, be generous, especially when it’s for bogey or more. 
  • Play ready. You can play ‘out of turn’ if you’re ready to play. That also means honors on the tee do not matter (unless you’re jumping a birdie of better!).
  • Play through. If you have less than a foursome behind, let the group play through. That means they can play up to the green on the same your on, and then continue past you. You can also do this on the next par 3. 

Clean

The title of this section defines the ball striking of Justin Rose last week at Colonial Country Club in Ft. Worth. Rose posted rounds of 66, 64, 66, 64 to win by three strokes over Brooks Koepka. It’s fitting that he did it at Ben Hogan’s home, with the statue, office, and trophy room of the greatest ball striker a must see if you’re lucky enough to visit.

Colonial Country Club is one of the most immaculate golf clubs I’ve had the pleasure to work at for PGA Tour Radio. It’s a special place, with an old school feel. But back to Rose. That performance, may vault him to the top of the favorites list to win the U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills in a few weeks. You could also make the same argument for Ft. Worth runner-up Brooks Koepka. The defending U.S. Open Champion has been excellent in his return from a January Wrist Injury. He finished T11 at The Players and 2nd to Rose last week. Shinnecock Hills has the similar links style to Erin Hills where Koepka won last June. 

Place

I intend for this to be The Place for recommendations from me to you or from other golfers to share with you. I have two for you this week. 

-I recently asked for your recommendations for equipment, clothing, etc. to share with other golfers. Keith (last name omitted for security reasons—not really, but sounds cool) suggested clubs from PXG. Here’s what Keith wrote in with:

“These are not for everyone as they are crazy expensive, but the second generation of PXG irons are awesome. I Did a fitting in Arizona last week and I added 11 yards to my seven iron carry. Went from 166.7 to 178 carry. Miss hits went further. Less spin and better apex too. Regards. Keith”

Thanks for sharing Keith. I have not hit PXG, but I did inspect Zach Johnson’s driver at a tournament a year ago. The weights around the perimeter look like rivets, but are intended to fine tune everything. I know the irons to be the same. It is very intriguing how Bob Parsons (Go Daddy founder) has penetrated a crowded market with a premium club, and what appears to be experience as Keith referenced. Maybe, if the folks at PXG read this, they’ll invite me out to Phoenix for the experience. The campaign starts now! 

-The second recommendation is to get a group together and participate in the LECOM Health Challenge Pro-AM at Peek n Peak on July 3rd. Like PXG, it’s not cheap, but this experience is worth it. You’ll get to play 18 holes on the always fun and challenging Upper Course (the lower course is no more) with a future star of the PGA Tour. Last year, I played with South Korean K.H. Lee. He could not have been a nicer kid, and his ball striking was incredible. The sound of clean contact every time. In addition to meeting a nice young gentleman, and having someone new to root for, we each received a great tee gift package to boot. You can get more information here.

That’s all for this week. Hit em straight, and if you need a 4th, call me. 

 

Kevin Sylvester

Kevin Sylvester has over 20 years of experience in media, working for stations, professional sports teams, leagues, and national broadcast entities. This experience includes being an announcer for NHL, NBA, NCAA Football, NCAA Basketball, NCAA Hockey, and The PGA Tour. Kevin also served as the producer for the Buffalo Sabres post-game show, executive producer for a Sabres radio show, and started his own media production company, All Square Media LLC in 2008. All Square Media serves as the executive producer of the Tee 2 Green TV and Radio shows (created by Kevin), handling distribution, sponsorship sales, fulfillment, and production of the shows.

Kevin's business background extends beyond broadcasting. He served as the Director of Amateur Athletics for WNY Arena LLC (Key Bank Center in Buffalo), procuring major amateur sporting events for Buffalo, NY. The major highlights include two sold out NCAA Tournaments First and Second Rounds (2007, 2010), and the 2011 IIHF U20 World Championships (Kevin co-wrote the winning bid, and served on the organizing committee for USA Hockey). Kevin created The Duster Challenge in 2016, a local 18 hole putting competition, and serves as an advisor to WNY golf ball company, OnCore Golf.

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