You’ve heard of Big Bertha but have you heard of Big Beertha???

 

From the world of weird n’ wacky in Golf, we found this…

 

THE BIG BEERTHA

Inside many an outwardly mature golfer lurks a glazed-eyed frat boy opposed to growing up. For those arrested fellows—and yes, they’re mostly fellows—there’s the Big Beertha, which looks like a driver but works like a beer bong. You pour a 12-ounce brew into the hollowed-out club head, then flip the club over and shotgun your beverage through the grip end. The liquid flows through a clear acrylic shaft, creating a viewing spectacle for those around you, who are likely to be either appalled or impressed.

SOURCE:  Golf.com

Tune Up Your Game with these Swing Tips

10 Best Swing Tips Ever!

Follow These Drills To Shore Up Your All-Around Game

1. Keep Your Hands Low

Limiting the height of the followthrough will effectively reduce the height of your shots. The lower the hands, the lower the ballflight. Moving the ball back in your stance or choosing a stronger club and trying to swing easy are other ways to accomplish the same thing, but they’re less reliable and more difficult to execute. Instead, keep your hands low in the finish (compare the two photos at right), and the trajectory of your shots will be lower.

2. Give Your Spine The Forearm

Make sure you’re on-plane at the top of the swing to guarantee solid ballstriking and increased accuracy. Notice in the photo at left how my right forearm is parallel to my spine, my left wrist is flat and my elbows and arms form a tight triangle. These are indications that I’ve rotated my shoulders into the backswing perfectly.

3. Use Your Body For Power

Every good golfer knows that power comes from the body, not the arms. To learn to power the club with your body instead of your arms and hands, put the club behind the ball at address, with your body in a dead-stop position. Without taking a backswing, try to drag the ball into the air. If you’re a player who uses his or her hands to control the club, you’ll probably struggle at first. However, you’ll quickly find that once you start moving the club with your body, you’ll begin to get the ball in the air more consistently. This helps you turn fully through the ball on the downswing.

4. Hinge For Power

Amateurs have problems hitting crisp iron shots due to two fatal flaws. First, the takeaway tends to be too low to the ground, which delays the proper hinging of the wrists until too late in the backswing. Second, in a misguided effort to create power, the arms tend to swing too far in the backswing. This causes a breakdown in posture and usually leads to a reverse pivot. These flaws cause mis-hits and a lack of distance and control.

Several simple steps can be taken to gain control over the length of the swing in order to create more solid contact. At setup, a 45-degree angle should be present between the left arm and the clubshaft. This starts the swing with the wrists already hinged halfway to the necessary 90 degrees. During the takeaway, the hands should stay close to the ground while the clubhead moves up quickly. The goal is to get the left thumb pointing at the right shoulder as soon as possible. You’ll know you’ve achieved the proper wrist hinge when your left arm is parallel to the ground and the clubshaft is perpendicular to it. This sets the wrists much earlier in the backswing, eliminating the need to swing the arms too far at the top. The tendency to lose posture and reverse pivot will be removed with this more compact golf swing.

Creating the proper wrist hinge in the backswing will lead to noticeably better ballstriking and, as a result, more consistent distance and direction on all iron shots.

5. Give Your Slice The Elbow

Some players like John Daly swing with their elbow flying out, while others like Sergio Garcia keep it in, proving that it’s possible to hit great shots with either method. However, my biomechanical studies indicate that the flying right elbow position favors a fade ballflight while a tucked right elbow promotes a draw. If you struggle with slicing or have always wanted to develop a power-rich draw, then the right elbow may hold the answer. Plus, when you let the right elbow fly, it has the tendency to raise the right shoulder skyward, which almost always causes an over-the-top move during the downswing and an array of bad results.

The key for long-term success is to eliminate the faulty shoulder tilt and right elbow position at the top. The most efficient right elbow position for keeping slices at bay and promoting a draw is on or just inside the seam running down the right side of your shirt. When you place your right elbow in this general area, it allows the shoulders to turn level to the spine, making it much easier to drop the club inside on the downswing for maximum power and improved control.

6. Solid Plane = No Slice

An open face at the point of contact can cause a slice. So, too, can a faulty swing path, even if your clubface is square to the target at impact. Slicers’ swing paths tend to come too much outside in (hookers, vice versa). All golfers need a path that comes just slightly from the inside. Try the Box Drill. Take the top half of a golf ball box and stand it on its side. Align the box parallel to your target line as shown. Strive to groove a path that allows the shaft to pass just over the box. For slicers, set up the box on the same line, but just forward of the golf ball. Don’t hit the box!

7. Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

Hookers need to stop the clubface from closing too soon. To do this, adopt a thumbs-down approach to impact. In the photos at right, you clearly can see the red side of the paddle with both my thumbs pointing down toward the ground. This type of movement slows the closing of your clubface, thus eliminating shots that curve to the left. In the second photo, the blue side of the paddle shows. This thumbs-up position is what slicers need to attain (a closing of the clubface).

8. No Flips

“Flippiness” (the dreaded early release) occurs if your body gets too far in front of the golf ball. When this happens, your club will drastically lag, usually with an open face. Instinctually, your hands will work to close the face at impact. This level of timing is difficult even for the pros to execute on a consistent basis. What usually happens is the clubhead races in front of the shaft and strikes the ball with an open or a closed face, and typically on an ascending arc. In baseball, if you get too far in front, you’ll hit the ball to right field, unless you flip the wrists. The same is true in golf. You need to establish a firm left side to keep your head behind the ball and stop the flip.

Usual suspects

Enemy number one: Your body is out of position or out of balance. Your body senses this, so your hands take over to try to get the clubface squared at impact. However, this adjustment usually takes the form of a flick or flip of the wrists.

Fixing The Flip

Set up to an impact bag (or an old duffel bag stuffed with towels), push the clubhead into the bag and set your body into a good impact position. The lead arm and shaft should form one straight, vertical line with the head back. Make sure your lead leg is braced and that your hips are turned slightly open. Hold this position to create the proper feel.

9. Chipping

golf swing tips

Although it’s tempting to hit chips indoors, all it takes is one broken lamp to realize that golf is an outdoor activity. Nevertheless, you can improve your chipping technique within the friendly confines of your own living room with the help of a wooden dowel or broken golf shaft.Take the dowel and place it through the hole on the top of the grip on a pitching wedge. Push the dowel roughly eight to 12 inches down the butt end of the shaft (a little Vaseline may help the dowel slide easier through the clubshaft). Two to three feet of the dowel should extend outward from the top of the grip.

golf swing tipsNow, practice your chipping motion, making sure that your left wrist remains rigid as the clubface passes through the impact zone. If your left wrist breaks down (a flaw that can cause a lot of short-game misery), you’ll feel the protruding portion of the dowel hit against your left side. In addition to guarding against wrist breakdown, the dowel will also help you to establish the proper hands-forward position at address—a crucial factor for clean contact.

The dowel also will force you to keep your hands moving forward and swing the club down the target line in the followthrough. Once you master this drill, you’ll be able to get up and down with the best of them.

As you perform these drills, you’ll begin to see the value of other everyday items in helping you improve your game. Don’t be afraid to experiment—you may just develop the next must-have training aid.

10. Stay In Your K

Even good golfers with sound, grooved swings come untracked now and then, especially if they lose the flex in the back leg trying for distance. If you stiffen your back leg during the backswing, your body will likely tilt out of balance, making it tough to re-flex the knee just the right amount in time for impact. If you can play some great golf, but consistency is your problem, it might be that you need a dose of Special K. Here’s how it works…

K Pasa?

At address, the Special K is the angle formed in your back leg by the upper and lower leg. The manner in which you stand to the ball determines in large part how well you maintain your Special K during your swing.

The best advice is to establish an athletic, ready-to-move setup. Create this posture by bending forward from the hip sockets and back from the knees. When your back leg is flexed correctly, it creates room for your arms to swing and aligns the joints, one on top of the other. You should be able to draw a line from the top of the spine through the tip of the elbow and then from the tip of your knee down through the ball joint of your foot.

Keeping The K

To keep your swing level, this angle should be maintained from address to just after impact. A good way to experience what it feels like to keep the Special K while you swing is to look in a mirror while you take practice swings. Start with the setup position shown in the photo, below left. Hold it steady, then look in the mirror to connect the sight and feel of the correct back leg flex for that position. Next, swing to the top. Again, hold that position and use the mirror to see if you maintained the angle in your back leg.

10 Best Swing Tips Ever10 Best Swing Tips Ever10 Best Swing Tips Ever

Setup

In the Special-K setup, the body has that athletic look common to many sports—a posture ready for action. At address, flex your back knee to discourage any up-and-down body motion while you swing. If you prepare yourself correctly, you won’t have to make any adjustments once your swing begins—all you have to do is rotate. Check your lower leg to make sure that it’s straight up and down (note that the crease in my pant leg is vertical). When the crease points toward the shaft, you know your lower leg is slanted at a bad angle. The reason the Special-K position is so important is that it unlocks the hips so they’re free to rotate. When the back leg locks and straightens at the knee, the back hip freezes, causing the body to tilt rather than turn.

Impact

Through impact, the trailing arm snaps straight, releasing power into the ball as the back knee kicks toward the target, still in its Special-K flex. Just after impact, both arms are straight, with the clubhead below the hands and the butt of the club pointing toward the middle of the body.

Backswing

When you keep the Special-K position during your backswing, it allows your elbows to stay level near the top of your swing. This, in turn, keeps the clubface from twisting out of position. Staying in your K makes your backswing more rounded and, instead of elevating the clubhead suddenly and tearing it off of its swing arc, the clubshaft travels on the correct swing path with a gradual, power-gathering ascent of the club.

Another good learning method is to practice swinging with a shaft placed in the ground and angled to match the slant of your upper leg. You won’t be able to see the shaft while you swing, but you’ll sense that it’s there, and that will help you maintain your Special K.

Once you establish the Special K at address, your goal is to maintain it all the way through your swing until after the ball has been launched. In order to do so, you’ll have to start your swing by shifting your weight into your trailing hip so you can make a level lower body turn. If you fail to make this crucial weight transfer, your trailing hip will likely float upward and destroy your Special K.

A second key occurs as you start back down to the ball. Here, establish your front hip as the rotational center of your swing. By focusing on the right hip, you’ll better prepare it to receive your forward weight shift, and it also allows you to maintain your back leg flex through the impact area and beyond.

SOURCE:  Golftipsmag.com

Nine changes in the new Rules of Golf you absolutely need to know for 2019

As Jan. 1 approaches, it’s time to consider what New Year’s resolutions you’ll be making to help your golf game in 2019. For those who haven’t come up with any, here’s a suggestion: Learn the Rules of Golf. (No, really learn them this time.) Perhaps you’ve tried, only to find that by February, the copy of the rules book you picked up is covered with as much dust as that Peloton you bought to get into shape. Yet here’s the thing: There’s no better time than now to give it another shot because a new, modernized version of the rules goes into effect on New Year’s Day.

In the most sweeping revision in more than 60 years, officials from the USGA and R&A, golf’s governing bodies, have reorganized the rules to make them easier to understand and apply. The number has been cut to 24 from 34, and the language simplified to make it more practical. Roughly 2 million copies of the Player’s Edition of the Rules of Golf were published and circulated this fall. If you haven’t gotten one, you can find it online at usgapublications.com, as well as with explanatory videos at usga.org/rules. The free USGA Rules of Golf app has been updated, too.

To help you keep this resolution, here are nine changes to the new rules you should know.

I. Accidents happen
The controversy over Dustin Johnson’s ball moving on the green during the final round of the 2016 U.S. Open exposed the old rules for being too harsh when it came to what many considered tickytack infractions. New language, first adopted through Local Rules since 2017, states there is no penalty if you accidentally move your ball (or ball marker) on the green. Put the ball back, and you’re good to go. The same applies if you’re searching for a lost ball and mistakenly move it.

II. The fix is in
Golfers often complained about the silliness of letting players fix a ball mark on the green, but not a spike mark. What’s the difference? With no good answer, officials now will let you fix everything without a penalty. You can also touch the line of your putt with your hand or club so long as you’re not improving it.

III. A lost cause
To improve pace of play, golfers now have just three minutes to search for a missing ball rather than five. Admit it, if you hadn’t found it in three minutes, you weren’t finding it anyway.

IV. Knee is the new shoulder
The process for dropping a ball back in play is revamped in the new rules. Instead of letting go from shoulder height, players will drop from around their knee. This is a compromise from an original proposal that would have let golfers drop from just inches above the ground. To preserve some randomness with the drop, officials went with knee height instead. Why change at all? Primarily to speed up play by increasing the chances your ball stays within the two-club-length drop area on the first try.

V. No longer at touchy subject
Hitting a ball into a water hazard (now defined as “penalty area”) should come with consequences. But golfers don’t have to be nervous about incurring an additional penalty for a minor rules breach while playing their next shot. You’re free to touch/move loose impediments and ground your club, eliminating any unnecessary worry. The only caveat: You still can’t put your club down and use it to improve the conditions for the stroke. You can remove loose impediments in bunkers, too, although touching the sand in a bunker in front of or behind the ball is still prohibited.

VI. Damaged goods
We all get mad on the course, and sometimes that anger is taken out on an unsuspecting driver or putter. Previously, the rules were confusing on when or if you could play a club you damaged during a round, and it led to instances where some players were disqualified for playing clubs with a shaft slightly bent or some other damage they didn’t realize the club had. Now you can play a club that has become damaged in any fashion. If you caused the damage, however, you can’t replace the club with a new one.

VII. Twice is … OK
A double hit is almost always accidental, and the outcome so random as to hardly be beneficial. So golfers are now spared the ignominy of adding a penalty for hitting a ball twice with one swing. It counts as only one stroke. Somewhere T.C. Chen is smiling.

VIII. The end of flagstick folly
Another nod to common sense eliminates a penalty for hitting a flagstick left in the hole while putting on a green. Taking out and then placing back in flagsticks can often cause undo delay in the round, and the flagstick is as likely to keep your ball out of the cup as it would help it fall in.

IX. O.B. option
Courses may implement a Local Rule (not for competition) that offers an alternative to the stroke-and-distance penalty for lost balls or shots hit out-of-bounds. A player may drop a ball anywhere between where the original ball was believed to come to rest (or went out-of-bounds) and just into the edge of the fairway, but no nearer the hole. The golfer takes a two-stroke penalty and plays on instead of returning to the tee. This way, the Local Rule mimics your score if you had played a decent provisional ball.

SOURCE:  Golf Digest

HAVE FUN PLAYING GOLF IN THE SNOW!

When you think of snow with regards to your favorite game – golf, one of the thoughts that comet your mind is; how can I play golf in the snow? Are you a die-hard player of the gentleman’s game? Don’t let layers of snow in the cold winter months stop you from enjoying the game.Its quite true that golf is a game best played during the warmer months. But it doesn’t mean that you have to pack up your golf clubs and sit out the bad weather.

So, can you play golf in the snow? Absolutely! Yes, it is possible.Just as some pros use the winter to practice and improve, as an amateur, you can also improve your beginner golf swing regardless of the weather. Stop asking; how can I reduce my golf strokes? Rather, gear up for practice. There is a lot you can do during the winter months to lower your golf handicap. Unless you plan on heading south during winter,utilize the winter to work on the areas in your swing and overall game that suffered during the just-concluded season.

In winter off season, most other players may be chilling out in their warm homes; less concerned about how to improve golf game in winter. During the winter months, the weather conditions definitely not going to be in your favor. Interestingly, you can use that to your advantage. The trick to playing golf in the winter is staying warm and keeping your golf equipment equally warm. Warm up a golf club and your golf balls.

How to play golf in the snow

It’s really not that bad – fun playing golf in the snow. Make playing golf in the snow, your personal challenge. Many golfers out there wouldn’t mind rounds of golf in the winter, for the love of golf. When the snow starts clearing off the ground, finding golf courses that are open is easy. The fees are lower plus, you can get three hour golf rounds unlike in summer. During winter,temporary greens are used on courses, making putting a whole lot harder.

The wonderful thing about playing golf in the snow is that you get to burn some calories. This happens because your body tends to disburse more energy in a bid to retain core warmth.Water hazards are mostly frozen while trees have already shed all their leaves. So they don’t pose much of a problem.To be able to play the world’s number one sport in these conditions though, you have to adhere to these guidelines.

Wear protective clothes

How can I practice golf in a bad weather? It is important for your core to stay warm throughout the period of your exposure to the cold. Keep your head warm in a thick head wear. It could be the kind that covers your ear lobes or the ones with ear-flaps sewn into them. Your clothing should consist of layers of warm cloths like turtle necked, golf fleece paired with warm pants.

Wear an insulated T-shirt,wool stocking sand ensure your feet stay warm in snowshoes. Top it off with a windbreaker.Flexibility can be a huge problem haven wrapped up yourself in warm cloths. All those clothes can prevent you from making a full turn during the game. But of course it is to be expected. Looking on the bright side, this can prevent mis-hits resulting from overs winging.

Get gloves on

First of all, gloves are an essential part of your attire because it will keep you warm. Secondly, it will greatly help you with gripping the golf club properly. This would invariably improve your swing whilst you are out there in the cold. Unlike the warmer months when you may wear a glove for one hand, you will need a pair of gloves during the winter. Without them, consistently hitting the ball straighter may be difficult. Proper golf club grip is needed as the frozen ground would make it extremely hard for you to play your irons.

Correct golf clubs

Most snow golfers prefer to use woods and hybrids due to the fact that irons are more easily affected by the cold. The cold weather messes with the flexibility of the clubs by stiffening the club’s face and shaft. To improve golf game over winter, a 7-iron is recommended by experts.

Select the right kind of ball

Golf swing improve distance is next to impossible this time of year as the air density can inhibit the distance of the ball flight in the snow. If you must play and enjoy golf in the snow, select the right type of ball.Be warned that a white golf ball may not be the best for playing in the snow. The reason is not far fetched, white balls can get lost in the snow. So, pick colored balls.

Regular golf balls, I mean the kind used in summer, are harder. So aside from the color, choose softer balls with low compression.The cold from the snowy floor will make a softer ball harder and its low compression can propel it further. Always try to keep the ball core warm. One way to do this is by rotating the ball in your pockets.In addition, store your golf balls in your house where the temperature is warmer.

Draw up a practice/play plan

To play or practice golf in winter, be prepared to have a face off with the weather. Do not get discouraged or be tempted to back out. The winter is one opportunity to get back to the drawing board and review your shortcomings in the previous season. To improve the game right from the comfort of your home, it is best to rely on the Golf Swing Right Now training aid, Timing Improver. This training aid is compact enough to use indoors and is guaranteed to help you improve your golf swing, golf consistency and speed with regular practice.

Stay focused on your goal to improve your golf game. Having a winter golf practice plan would do a lot to improve your short game in the next season. Although you can practice with willing golfers such as yourself, also you can hire a coach or a golf swing trainer. Don’t forget to warm up for golf.

SOURCE:  Golfswingrightnow

Tommy Fleetwood says this drill was the key to improving his ball-striking

Tommy Fleetwood is one of the best iron players in golf, and earlier this week he shared a drill that could improve your ball-striking, too.

Fleetwood’s road to the top of the sport wasn’t smooth sailing. After turning professional in 2010 the 27 year-old steadily improved and finally cracked the top 50 in the Official World Golf Rankings in 2015. A year later, his game imploded, and his OWGR cratered to outside the top 180.

So, Fleetwood made some changes.

He reunited with his former swing coach and employed his best friend as his caddie, and slowly clawed his way back. Today, he ranks 11th in the Official World Golf Ranking, was among the heroes of the victorious 2018 European Ryder Cup team, and is cementing himself as one of the game’s best players.

Fleetwood’s comeback was built largely on the back of his ball-striking — he ranked 14th and 17th in Strokes Gained: Off The Tee and SG: Tee-to-Green on the PGA Tour last season. Speaking to Sky Sports during the British Masters this week, it was the “windmill” drills that eventually proved the difference.

You can hear him talking about it below…

The best thing about this drill is that it’s really simple. As Fleetwood demonstrates, you simply take your golf posture with your arms straight. Then, hit shots focusing on keeping your arms straight.

Tommy Fleetwood demonstrating the windmill drill

You only need to hit half-shots — no swings big enough that it will force your wrists to break. The goal of the drill is to stop your hands from working independently of your body rotation. Everything’s synched up, working together, and the face remains square as a result. It’s something Fleetwood does extremely well in his swing, and it’s an easy way to improve your game, too.

Go USA! 2019 Ryder Cup

It’s Ryder Cup Time!

USA vs. EUROPE

This once every two year competition pairs up the best of the best from the USA and Europe.

Are your ready for an exciting weekend in golf?

Here are the first four matches…

Match 1 (2:10 a.m.):   Tony Finau and Brooks Koepka vs. Justin Rose and Jon Rahm
Match 2 (2:25 a.m.):   Rickie Fowler and Dustin Johnson vs. Rory McIlroy and Thorbjorn Olesen
Match 3 (2:40 a.m.):   Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas vs. Paul Casey and Tyrrell Hatton
Match 4 (2:55 a.m.):   Tiger Woods and Patrick Reed vs. Francesco Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood.

Share your favorite RYDER CUP memory

 

The crowd swarming Tiger Woods on 18 at the Tour Championship was absolutely insane

Sports fans have waited a long time for Tiger Woods to return to the top of the golf world — five years, to be exact. But the moment finally came on Sunday at the 2018 Tour Championship in Atlanta, and it was truly a sight to behold. Woods had a pretty comfortable lead on the final day of the tournament at East Lake Golf Club. As he entered the final hole, all he needed to do was avoid a double bogey and the win would be his.

With it becoming crystal clear that his long-awaited victory was imminent, an absolutely wild scene formed on the course.

As Tiger walked to the 18th green, a massive — and I mean massive — amount of fans swarmed from every direction and followed his every move. It was to the point that other extraneous PGA Tour and NBC Sports personnel moved out of the way, and even Rory McIlroy jogged ahead of Woods either sensing the moment or simply because he was slightly frightened.

You really need to see it to believe it.

https://twitter.com/PGATOUR/status/1043986287982604288

After the win, Tiger joked when asked about the crowd: “I just didn’t want to get run over.”

There’s only one guy who’s capable of attracting a crowd like that on the golf course. Just one. Woods’ win on Sunday served as a reminder that he’s more than just a golfer when he’s at the top of his game — he’s a rock star.

SOURCE: CBSSports

Come for the Golf • Stay for the Football

ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL???

Golf and Football, a winning combination at Makefield Highlands! 

We invite you to join us every weekend for your golf game then stay and watch your favorite team compete.   

Enjoy the delicious food and cold beverages at the Highlands Grille.

Simplicity the key with changes to FedExCup Playoffs finale

The next generation of the FedExCup Playoffs includes significant changes in 2019, but nothing is more important than this particular concept:

The season-ending TOUR Championship will be easier to follow.

Starting with next year’s event at East Lake, there will be only one leaderboard. No separate FedExCup points standings. No projections that fluctuate with each holed putt. No analytics to determine who might or might not have an advantage.

And on that Sunday afternoon, there will be one champion crowned. One winner standing on the 18th green, holding up one trophy – the FedExCup. Nothing will be shared. Everything will be definitive.

Winner takes it all.

“Win the TOUR Championship and you are the FedExCup champion. It’s that simple,” PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan said Tuesday when announcing the changes.

Credit a new scoring system called FedExCup Starting Strokes that was unveiled Tuesday and will be implemented at the 2019 TOUR Championship. A strokes-based bonus system related to the FedExCup standings, players will start the opening round with scores between 10 under to even par.

It will replace the system currently in use this week (and since 2009) in which FedExCup points are reset going into East Lake. Instead of two separate leaderboards – one for the tournament, the other for the FedExCup race – the 2019 TOUR Championship will have one leaderboard for a single, decisive winner.

The main benefits? Fans will immediately understand what’s going on, no matter if they’ve followed the TOUR all season or just tuning in for the final event. Meanwhile, players will know exactly where they stand at all times.

This change also eliminates the possibility that the TOUR Championship winner might not emerge as the FedExCup winner, which has happened three times in the first 11 years of the FedExCup Playoffs. Beginning in 2019, if any of the 30 players at East Lake wins the TOUR Championship, he is also guaranteed to win the FedExCup.

“I support it,” said Dustin Johnson, the FedExCup runner-up in 2016 who enters this week’s TOUR Championship ranked No. 4. “I think it definitely would make things a lot clearer. … It would definitely be a lot more fun to watch on the telecast.”

The Starting Strokes format was one of three key announcements made Tuesday during a news conference at East Lake with Monahan and Andy Pazder, Executive Vice President and Chief Tournament and Competitions Officer. Also announced:

• A doubling of the total FedExCup bonus pool money from the current $35 million to $70 million starting next season. The FedExCup winner’s share will have the largest increase, from $10 million to $15 million.

• Among that $70 million will be a $10 million regular season bonus pool, sponsored by Wyndham, tied to the final regular-season FedExCup standings. The new Wyndham Rewards Top 10 $10 million bonus will recognize the top 10 players who earn the most FedExCup points through the Wyndham Championship, the final event of the regular season. The leader will earn $2 million, followed by $1.5 million for the runner-up with the 10th-place finisher earning $500,000.

The bonus program will provide additional drama to the regular season finale and also place a greater premium on full-season performance, thus elevating the significance of each tournament on the schedule.

Add in previously announced changes to the PGA TOUR schedule – most notably the move of THE PLAYERS Championship to March, the PGA Championship to May, the reduction of FedExCup Playoffs events from four to three, and the earlier finish prior to Labor Day — and next season promises to be the most rewarding and intriguing that players and fans have experienced.

“It’s going to be different. It’s going to be interesting,” said reigning FedExCup champion Justin Thomas, currently No. 5 in the standings.

“We have no doubt it will create a compelling, dramatic conclusion for the TOUR’s ultimate prize,” Monahan said. “… We think this is a significant step forward for the PGA TOUR.”

It’s a “seismic shift,” said the Commissioner, adding that the TOUR first started the process in early 2015 after identifying ways to improve the FedExCup competition.

The changes were the end result after extensive research and feedback was received from the PGA TOUR members, media partners and the TOUR’s 5,000-member fan council — an “important sounding board,” Monahan said. Two things kept popping up – the need for a singular focus for the season-ending event, and an easy-to-understand scoring system.

The 16-member Player Advisory Council and four player-directors were then instrumental in helping the TOUR officials shape the end result, with a format that was collectively agreed on.

“We wanted to … address a concern that we’ve had for a number of years now, which is allowing our fans to engage at a much higher, much deeper level — and that has to start with them being able to follow the competition more closely than they have previously,” Pazder said.

“We’re all accustomed to following a leaderboard week in, week out in our sport. It’s as simple as it can get. Yet at the same time, we wanted to retain much of what we’e built over the previous 11 or 12 years, which is a system that identifies a player who’s had a great year. He’s our season-long champion. So we wanted it to be something that our players embraced and fully supported.”

Here’s how the points system will work in next season’s FedExCup Playoffs:

The top 125 players in points after the Wyndham Championship will qualify for the Playoffs — that hasn’t changed (don’t forget, though, that the top 10 will earn The Wyndham Rewards Top 10 bonus).

Since there is one less Playoffs event, the progressive cut will be adjusted. Only the top 70 after THE NORTHERN TRUST will advance to the second Playoffs event, which will now be the BMW Championship. (The first two Playoffs events will continue to award quadruple points.) Then the top 30 after the BMW will make the TOUR Championship.

That’s when the FedExCup Starting Strokes kicks in – and the points go away.

The No. 1 player in the FedExCup standings will receive a 10-stroke head start going into East Lake. In other words, he will tee off for the first round at 10 under.

The No. 2 player will start at 8 under. The No. 3 player starts at 7 under; the No. 4 player starts at 6 under; the No. 5 player starts at 5 under. Players ranked 6-10 start at 4 under; players 11-15 start at 3 under; players 16-20 start at 2 under; players 21-25 start at 1 under; and players 26-30 start at even par.

“This is a unique format,” Pazder said, “and we’re very excited about it. We know our fans are going to love it based on some early feedback we’re hearing, and our players are embracing it.”

If the format had been in place this week, Bryson DeChambeau would start at 10 under; Justin Rose at 8 under and so on to No. 30, Patton Kizzire, who would start at even par.

Once the TOUR Championship begins, then a player’s score will reflect both the tournament and the FedExCup standings. That should be easier for fans – and players – to follow.

“Incredibly beneficial for our players from our competitive standpoint,” Pazder said.

While the format itself is radically different and easier to track, the ultimate outcome compared to the previous system may not be drastically impacted.

If the new scoring system had been in place since the last significant adjustments in the current FedExCup system in 2009, just one champion definitely would’ve been different – Luke Donald would have won the 2011 FedExCup instead of Bill Haas. The year before, Donald would have been in a playoff with Jim Furyk (who in reality won the 2010 FedExCup title in regulation).

The PGA TOUR has been happy with its FedExCup winners in the first 11 years and did not want to compromise the drama that unfolds at East Lake. The goal was not to change the system but simply to make that drama easier to follow at the TOUR Championship.

“You ask yourself, why those stroke values?” Pazder said. “Our objective was to assign strokes values that as closely as possible approximate the win probabilities that our current system provides, and that was something that was very, very important to us.

“We feel like we do crown deserving champions. We do have a system that creates drama — and we want to continue with that.”

In order to get close to matching those win probabilities, the TOUR worked with a leading educational institution to run a total of one million simulations.

Based on the results, DeChambeau has a 28.8 percent chance of winning the FedExCup title this week in the current system. Next season, the No. 1 player will have a 27.1 percent chance of winning in the new format. The odds of one of the top five players winning this week is 59.3 percent; next year, that percentage will increase slightly to 63.9 percent.

On the flip side, the odds of one of the bottom 15 players in the standings winning this week is 15.5 percent; next year, those odds drop to 11 percent.

“Happy to say that our math checked out,” said Pazder, who added that the strokes-based system offers the chance for increased volatility during the four rounds at East Lake.

“A greater opportunity for players to move both up in the FedExCup standings but also to move down in the FedExCup standings if they were to have an off-week,” he said. “That’s an important point here.”

A year ago, Thomas won the FedExCup title without having to win the TOUR Championship (which was won by rookie Xander Schauffele). Certainly, Thomas didn’t mind how the results panned out in 2017, and under the new system, he still would’ve won the title.

No doubt there will be an adjustment period as players get comfortable with all the changes. As Thomas — a member of the PAC who has known about the changes for a while — said Tuesday, “We’re just going to have to become comfortable with it, because that’s the way it is.”

But their basic perspective remains the same.

“At the end of the day,” Thomas said, “you still have to play great golf to win a FedExCup.”

SOURCE: PGATour

2018 Ryder Cup: The perfect player pairings for Paris

Now that the Ryder Cup teams are set, it’s time for captains Jim Furyk and Thomas Bjorn to finalize who will pair with whom?

There’s a lot that goes into finding the perfect pairings in these team events. Captains must consider playing styles, personalities and a variety of other factors. And while everyone would be interested to see a Tiger Woods-Phil Mickelson pairing, that’s probably not the most effective option for the U.S.

Now, we understand that both Ryder Cup teams have plenty of resources to help them formulate the perfect combinations. But just in case the captains are looking for some extra advice, here’s our recommendations on which players should pair up in Paris, and why.

Brentley Romine

U.S.

Jordan Spieth-Patrick Reed: This is probably the easiest decision that Furyk has to make. This duo is 4-1-2 in the past two Ryder Cups, so even though Spieth might want to switch things up and partner with, say, Justin Thomas or Rickie Fowler, it’s best if he keeps his partnership with Reed. They are just too good together.

Tiger Woods-Bryson DeChambeau: While everyone on the U.S. team would love to pair with Woods, it seems as if DeChambeau, a three-time winner this season, will get the honor. The two have developed some chemistry this year through practice rounds and such. If there is anyone on the team as competitive as Woods, it’s DeChambeau, who had an excellent match-play record as an amateur, winning the 2015 U.S. Amateur and playing well for his country at the Walker Cup, Palmer Cup and World Amateur Team Championship.

Dustin Johnson-Brooks Koepka: The two gym buddies didn’t pair up until the final team session at Hazeltine. They lost to Rory McIlroy and Thomas Pieters in four-ball, 3 and 1, but showed some promise as a pairing. Johnson hasn’t played particularly well in Ryder Cups. Maybe competing alongside Koepka will spark something.

Phil Mickelson-Tony Finau: This will be Mickelson’s 12th straight Ryder Cup and at 48 years old, he doesn’t appear to have many more left as a player. He’s never won overseas, so he’ll be as motivated as ever to finally check that box off. Pairing him with the young and powerful Finau makes a lot of sense. The two played together at the Northern Trust a few weeks ago and Mickelson raved about Finau’s potential. Mickelson is also coming off a strong performance two years ago at Hazeltine, where he went 2-1-1.

Rickie Fowler-Justin Thomas: This is Thomas’ first Ryder Cup, but he isn’t the typical rookie, ranked fourth in the world and the defending PGA Tour Player of the Year. It’s no secret that he and Fowler are close, and their chemistry should produce results, especially in foursomes. They are similar players, possessing all-around games and gaining the most shots with their irons and putter.

Bubba Watson-Webb Simpson: This pairing worked very well in 2012 at Medinah, where the two went 2-1. They lost their opening session in 2014 and Simpson didn’t play again until singles. But Simpson is having his best season since 2012 – by a mile – and Watson, who has won three times this season, has regained some momentum of late. They could surprise in Paris.

EUROPE

Henrik Stenson-Justin Rose: Played three of four sessions together in 2016 – each of them opposite Spieth and Reed – and went 1-2, though their 5-and-4 Friday afternoon four-ball victory was mighty impressive. Also, they went 3-0 together at Gleneagles. This pairing is as safe a bet as any.

Rory McIlroy-Jon Rahm: McIlroy has seemed to embrace the role of taking a rookie under his wing after going 3-0 with Thomas Pieters at Hazeltine. Rahm is similar to Pieters on the course and McIlroy could help Rahm channel that passion into points.

Paul Casey-Tommy Fleetwood: Both players had some fun with the story of Fleetwood wanting to buy Casey’s extra set of Nike irons. And while it doesn’t look like Casey will loan the set to Fleetwood in Paris like he had joked about doing, the two Englishmen would make a nice pairing. Both are great iron players and similar personality types.

Ian Poulter-Tyrrell Hatton: Poulter’s great 2012 Ryder Cup showing came when he paired with Rose and McIlroy. However, after an 0-1-1 team performance in 2014 and not qualifying in 2016, Poulter likely needs a fresh partner. How about the fiery Hatton? The two teamed up to break a world record in a European Tour social video last year, and I could see Poulter as a perfect Ryder Cup role model for the emotional Hatton.

Alex Noren-Thorbjorn Olesen: I initially had Noren and Molinari teaming up, but felt that Sergio Garcia needed Molinari the most. Noren is a guy who could play with anyone. You never have to question his work ethic and though he and Olesen are rookies, they aren’t strangers to big moments. They also have similar games – Noren is a better driver of the golf ball, but they are pretty equal in other facets. Both putt it well, too.

Sergio Garcia-Francesco Molinari: Many of Garcia’s recent partners – Lee Westwood, Luke Donald, Martin Kaymer and Rafa Cabrera Bello – did not qualify. And while he paired with McIlroy three times in 2014, it seems as if McIlroy will again be tasked with motivating a rookie. Assuming that, it makes most sense to pair the struggling Garcia with a consistent presence like Molinari, who is a strong tee-to-green guy and proven on the Ryder Cup stage.

Kevin Casey

U.S.

Jordan Spieth-Patrick Reed: What, I’m going to suggest breaking up this pair?? In seven Ryder Cup matches as a duo, Spieth and Reed have lost once – when the opposing team made nine birdies in 14 holes, no less. We know how electric and efficient this pairing is. No need to overthink this one.

Tiger Woods-Brooks Koepka: Look, I’m in no way against the TW-Bryson pairing that the vast majority are pointing toward (see above). Clearly the duo has rapport. But part of Woods’ surprisingly mediocre Ryder Cup record outside of singles is that it’s long been difficult to find him a comfortable partner. Partners being some form of intimidated or awestruck has played a role in that, in my opinion. DeChambeau would probably fall in the awestruck category. But Koepka wouldn’t. The evidence is right there from last month when Brooks was unfazed by a charging Tiger and won the PGA Championship. Koepka and Woods clearly have rapport as well (See: post-round greeting at the PGA) and man would their power, steely demeanors and games make up an intimidating pair for any European squad to come up against. This seems like a winning team on swagger alone.

Bryson DeChambeau-Webb Simpson: This would be a pairing that could sneak up on the Europeans and lull them into a false sense of security. Neither player flashes with booming drives, but both are incredibly efficient. I especially like them as a foursomes pairing, as DeChambeau is a supreme ball-striker and Simpson boasts an excellent short game.

Dustin Johnson-Justin Thomas: Yes, I’m breaking up “the gym buddies” pairing of DJ and Koepka. But I don’t see this as controversial in the least considering that pairing lost 3 and 1 (and it could’ve been easily worse) in their only Ryder Cup grouping. They did go 2-0 together at the Presidents Cup, but these two don’t have any semblance of the Spieth-Reed dominance in its results. Substituting Thomas in here keeps this as a fierce pairing of huge power hitters, so the intimidation is still real. Just have a feeling, too, that DJ and JT could mesh well as partners.

Phil Mickelson-Tony Finau: Who better to pair a Ryder Cup rookie bursting with talent than Lefty? Mickelson certainly knows what it’s like to be a hotshot young gun and has vast Ryder Cup experience, so he could serve as an extremely useful advisor in this pairing. I also think these two have like temperaments in that they like to think and play aggressive. They should fuel off each other, and with both in good form that is very dangerous for any opponent.

Bubba Watson-Rickie Fowler: You want Watson to feel comfortable, and he should with a friend and cool customer in Fowler. This group would have great chemistry, and if both are on form there may not be a team in this event that makes as many birdies.

EUROPE

Henrik Stenson-Justin Rose: That pairing that defeated Reed and Spieth with nine birdies in 14 holes? That would be Stenson and Rose, who demolished the pair 5 and 4 in that 2016 match. Overall, they are 4-2 together in the last two Ryder Cups and are as reliable a pair as any outside Spieth/Reed.

Rory McIlroy-Ian Poulter: This pairing has gone 1-0-1 in Ryder Cup competition. That win, if you recall, was the one that catalyzed the Miracle at Medinah in 2012, as Poulter birdied the final five holes in a Saturday afternoon four-ball match to give him and McIlroy a comeback 1-up win, cut the deficit to 10-6 and energize the Euros. McIlroy has really embraced playing the Ryder Cup with an outpouring of emotion and starred doing so in 2016. It’d be tough to find a more perfect pairing in that regard.

Paul Casey-Tommy Fleetwood: This would be similar to Stenson and Rose in the all-reliable mold. Fleetwood may be a rookie, but he has shown he can quickly get on track on big stages. Casey obviously has plenty of previous pedigree. This is not a duo you can fall asleep on for one second.

Jon Rahm-Tyrrell Hatton: This is probably my riskiest pairing choice, but it has high potential. These are both highly emotional young stars who could build off each others’ histrionics in the charged Ryder Cup atmosphere. Of course, there’s also the chance their incredible combination of emotion could lead to combustion. But it’s the Ryder Cup, go big or go home.

Alex Noren-Francesco Molinari: On the other side, this is the mellow pairing. Both players are stoic, like to play precise golf and tend to sneak under the radar. Together they make a dangerous and dangerously overlooked pairing.

Sergio Garcia-Thorbjorn Olesen: Remember when Garcia was a young up and comer who dominated in the Ryder Cup thanks in part to his incredible energy? Probably a good idea to pair the struggling Masters champion with someone who can bring back memories of that youthful exuberance. Rahm is a good candidate here then, but I like Olesen a little better. Rahm can get a little hard on himself, whereas Olesen can better provide that uplifting youthful energy that can help elevate Garcia. You also need someone in form here considering Garcia’s struggles, and Olesen is certainly that as he has four top-12 finishes in his last six starts.

SOURCE:  MSN