Topgolfgears Morning 9: Huge FedEx Cup changes coming | Tiger’s Trump tap dance | L’Artiste!

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August 28, 2018

Good Tuesday morning, golf fans.
GolfWRX Morning 9: Huge FedEx Cup changes coming | Tiger’s Trump tap dance | L’Artiste!
1. Cup changes ahead
Staggered starting scores at the Tour Championship?!
Per an AP Report…”The PGA Tour is putting the final touches on a revamped FedEx Cup structure that would award a cash bonus to the leading player from the regular season, followed by a new scoring format for the Tour Championship to decide the FedEx Cup champion, The Associated Press has learned.”
  • “Five people aware of the discussions say FedEx Cup points will not be involved in the final playoff event at East Lake. Instead, the No. 1 player would start the Tour Championship at 10-under par, with scores to par staggered depending on the 30 players’ position in the standings.”
  • “The winner will be the FedEx Cup champion, and the bonus is expected to be more than the current $10 million prize…That means whoever gets the 30th spot at East Lake would have four rounds to make up as many as 10 shots. The change eliminates the awkward moment – and divided attention – of one player winning the Tour Championship and another winning the FedEx Cup, which happened last year for the second time.”
2. Appreciate the art of the scientist
Golf Digest’s Joel Beall penned a quality piece on enjoying the single-length maestro, Bryson DeChambeau.
  • A few morsels…:DeChambeau’s third PGA Tour victory in 13 months-more tournaments than Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler have won combined in that span-and a win that ostensibly locks up a Ryder Cup spot. Only Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas have more top-10 finishes this season than DeChambeau’s eight, and the 24-year-old ranks fifth in strokes gained and 14th in scoring.”
  • “But with Bryson DeChambeau, it’s never been about the game. It’s about about how that game is conceptualized, executed, questioned, achieved. While those prisms should create a greater appreciation for the end product, it’s done the opposite.”
  • “By now you know DeChambeau is a different duck. The Hogan cap, naming his clubs, writing his name backwards with his opposite hand, dabbling in stippling-not the usual repertoire of an aspiring tour pro. By themselves, they’re each fun tidbits and ideal content for a player’s media guide profile. Yet it’s Bryson’s drive that really separates him. And we do mean drive. While many golfers strive for perfection, DeChambeau’s pursuit takes him down some peculiar avenues. One-length clubs, a slave to statistical analysis, battles with the USGA, a tryst with side-saddling putting. Coupled with the aforementioned oddities, he stands out in the tour’s cookie-cutter crowd.”
  • “Amusingly, one of the reasons fans have struggled to connect with Brooks Koepka is that Brooks, admittedly, is not really into golf. DeChambeau resides on the other end of that spectrum, devouring tomes like The Golfing Machine and Vector Putting as a kid. There’s an unbridled enthusiasm when he talks about the game and finds joy in the work. Hell, he even flew himself to the 2016 Ryder Cup because he wanted to take it in as a spectator.”
3. Who doesn’t love a good power ranking?
While I usually steer clear of all things fantasy and DFS, I’m tossing in best-in-the-biz Rob Bolton’ top 5 for the upcoming Dell Technologies Championship.
5. Tony Finau…Fulfilling one projection after another all season, if not exceeding even elevated expectations. Solo second at Ridgewood; led field in strokes gained: tee-to-green. Fourth start at TPC Boston.
4. Jason Day...He’s a workhorse from every perspective. Perfect at TPC Boston since 2008 with three top 10s among eight top 25s. Five straight top 20s upon arrival. Tops on TOUR in strokes gained: putting.
3. Dustin Johnson...Can’t complain much about a T11 at Ridgewood except maybe for a third-round 7…Saved erratic iron play with strong putting. Perfect in eight trips to TPC Boston with four top 20s.
2. Brooks Koepka...Coming off a T8 at THE NORTHERN TRUST where he co-led at the midpoint and led the field in distance of all drives, strokes gained: off-the-tee and par-5 scoring. T18 at TPC Boston in 2017.

1. Justin Thomas…Seeking to become the first back-to-back champ in tournament history. Since winning at Firestone, he’s added a T6 (PGA) and T8 (NORTHERN TRUST) to regain consistency that he’s sought.

4. Lessons from Cam Smith’s prep
Nick Randall, who has trained Cam Smith since Smith was 16, penned an interesting piece for GolfWRX on Smith’s physical preparations–and the application for your golfing life.
“Cam Smith, who just finished T3 at The Northern Trust, has made a lot of progress from when we first started working together. Not only is he now top 50 in the world, he has progressed from a scrawny teen into a well rounded golf athlete. At age 16 he was weak, tight, had some alarming postural adaptations from golf and was in pain and discomfort in a number of areas.”
  • “I would like to share with you what I consider to be the 5 areas that the competitive club golfer can learn from Cam’s approach to physical preparation. If implemented properly these will not help your golf but benefit your long-term musculo-skeletal health too.”
  • “Cam’s approach is particularly relatable and applicable to the club golfer because he isn’t the biggest guy, or the most gifted athlete, or the hardest worker. Cam likes to keep things simple and use practice and training approaches that can be completed in a short amount of time with the minimum of fuss (leaving more time for messing around on the range apparently!)”
  • STICK TO THE PLAN…Cam doesn’t wander from the prescribed plan; this is for three main reasons. Firstly he wants to avoid the excessive post exercise soreness that prohibits him from practicing and performing effectively. Sticking to familiar exercises and loads helps ensure this. Secondly, performing the same exercises allows him time to get familiar and comfortable with the technique, ensuring absolute best form and resultant outcome. Lastly, golf is a tough mental sport especially at the very elite level. Being able to go into the gym and carry out a familiar routine means that there is no excess mental energy being used up unnecessarily.”
GolfWRX Morning 9: Huge FedEx Cup changes coming | Tiger’s Trump tap dance | L’Artiste!
5. Tiger & Trump
Sam Weinman at Golf Digest says (rightly) that Tiger Woods responses to questions about race and Donald Trump are exactly what were to be expected.
  • “What to make of Tiger Woods’ brief utterances about President Trump following his final round in the Northern Trust? It has all the makings of a juicy story-the world’s most popular athlete, its most polarizing leader. Depending on which side of the political spectrum you occupy, it could be chopped up and digested any number of different ways, as the president himself has already proven.”
  • “The full exchange, with a New York Times reporter, was barely a minute long. Asked about his relationship with Trump, Woods reflected on their history playing together (including most recently last Thanksgiving weekend): “We’ve played golf together. We’ve had dinner together. I’ve known him pre-presidency and obviously during his presidency.”
  • “Then Woods was asked about whether his relationship with Trump was an implicit endorsement of Trump’s policies toward immigrants and people of color? Treading cautiously, Woods said he felt compelled to respect the office. “He’s the President of the United States. You have to respect the office,” he said. “No matter who is in the office, you may like, dislike personality or the politics, but we all must respect the office.”
  • “It’s worth debating whether that’s understandable or regrettable given Woods’ stature and influence. Woods has indeed emerged as a more sympathetic and approachable figure in this latest chapter of his career. But to have expected anything else from his answer Sunday is to not have been paying attention.”
6. New company: New Level Golf
I spoke with Eric Burch, founder and CEO of the upstart New Level Golf.
The broad strokes of Burch’s career take us from his time as an assistant pro in the 90s, through his founding of Parfection Golf, the Professional Clubmakers Society recognized as the top retail shop in the country in 2004, through his development of the legendary (in club building and fitting circles, anyway) Club-Conex Uni-Fit system. True Spec, as GolfWRX readers know, purchased Club-Conex in 2015, and after stints as Executive VP for Miura and a high-level position at Pure Grips, Burch decided to hang a shingle, knowing it was something he always wanted to make a go of.
  • New Level’s current offerings consist of three iron models and a wedge. Burch was kind enough to give a thumbnail sketch of each of the models.
  • Here’s what Burch had to say about the company’s most popular offering: the 1031 iron.
  • EB: “Then we have the 1031, which fits right in the middle of the three. That’s a slightly longer blade length than the 902. There’s a consistent offset throughout the set. It starts at about 4.5 millimeters…there’s good continuity throughout the set. Same topline as the 902…all the toplines are exactly the same. I did that so you’d have the ability to mix and match.
  • “The 1031 has a lot of meat low and behind the center of the club. In my opinion, it’s the most forgiving from heel to toe. It tends to launch just a shade higher [than the 902]. In terms of materials…everything that we do at this point is 1020 carbon. The initial finish is all satin. The 1031 is now available in limited quantities in the black PVD finish. It’s our all-around, one-size-fits all iron…it’s our best-selling iron.”
7. Malbon x Puma
Interesting stuff as capsules and collaboration continue to come to golfwear.
From the folks at GD…”Since opening in 2017, Malbon Golf has been making big waves in golf. The skate-culture inspired golf shop on the trendy Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles has become a hangout for both professional golfers and Hollywood celebrities alike. Hats, gloves, apparel and other accessories with the company’s “Buckets” logo-a golf ball with a hat on-have been selling out almost instantly. It seems like every brand wants to collaborate with Malbon Golf, from ECCO shoes to Jones Golf Bags to Dormie Workshop, and the Malbon touch ups the cool factor on just about everything. The latest collaboration with Puma is one of the more exciting drops.”
  • “Working with [Stephen] Malbon and his team was a natural fit from day one,” Grant Knudson, Head of Footwear & Accessories at Puma Golf, said. “This uninhibited, outside-the-box approach resulted in a collection that anyone passionate about style and golf will appreciate-it’s a perfect mix where you can stand out without making a scene.”…The eight-piece collection including both apparel and accessories in a mainly navy-and-red color theme, is.”
  • “The Malbon 110 Snapback Cap ($42) will likely be the most popular item in the collection. It’s got a 3D Malbon embroidered buckets logo on the front and throwback Puma text on the bill that reads “One Step Ahead With Puma, For Puma Does It The Quality Way.” This is unlike most golf hats out there style-wise, but with the moisture wicking sweatband, it will still perform well on the course.”
8. Your McCormack Medal winner is…
…Braden Thornberry.
  • Golfweek’s Brentley Romine writes…:As if Braden Thornberry needed any further validation that his homemade, unorthodox golf swing works, the Ole Miss senior just added another accomplishment to his impressive amateur resume.”
  • “Thornberry was awarded with the Mark H. McCormack Medal on Monday. The award goes to the top-ranked golfer in the World Amateur Golf Ranking following the U.S. Amateur each year.
9. Pepperell’s giveaway
Scene: last week’s Czech Masters...Keeley Levins writes…”The 27-year-old Englishman said that the fan earned the wedge by being the only guy on the property out there actively rooting for Pepperell. Take note, golf fans, every cheer matters.”
  • “If he’s still around he can have the other 13 maybe,” said Pepperell after his round. “He gave me a clap for my shot and he’s the only one I heard clapping, so I said here you go, you can have my lob wedge.”


GolfWRX Morning 9: Huge FedEx Cup changes coming | Tiger’s Trump tap dance | L’Artiste!

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