FORE Georgia 0209B

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    GE ORGI AP GA.COM GOL F FORE GEORGI A.COM F E BRUARY 2009

    B y M i k e B l u m

    or most of Georgias contingenton the PGA Tour, the 2008season was not a particularly

    memorable one, although therewere some exceptions.

    Duluths Stewart Cinkand Sea Islands DavisLove opened the2009 season in theM e r c e d e s - B e n zChampionship inHawaii, a rewardfor winning a tour-

    G e o r g i a G o l f B u s i n e

    Georgia

    Golf Course

    Owners

    Association

    w w w . g g c o a . c o

    770-235-0735Paul Claxton returnsto NationwideTour

    Larry Mize debutson ChampionsTour

    INSIDE

    THIS

    ISSUE

    12 14

    ATHENSREGIONALFOUNDA

    TIONCLASSIC

    LAKEFINLAYIMAGEGROUP

    Davis Love III

    Better 09 for states PGA Tour prosLove, Howell off to quick early starts

    STEVEDINBERG

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    sixth in regular season points for theFedEdCup and ninth on the final moneylist with almost $4 million.

    Cinks 08 season was divided into two

    disparate halves; before and after his win inHartford. Other than his participation onthe Ryder Cup team, Cinks post-victoryhighlights were non-existent. And as wellas he played the first six months of theseason, he let a win get away in Tampa anddid not put up much of a fight in theMatch Play finals against Tiger Woods.

    Statistically, it was a solid season for theformer Georgia Tech great. But he con-tinued to miss fairways at a surprisinglyhigh rate (181st in driving accuracy), whilestruggling with his short game (142nd inscrambling).

    Love was headed for his worst season in20-plus years on the PGA Tour before a

    late surge in the Fall Finish revived hiscareer at the age of 44. After a season-bestfinish of T19 in his first 17 starts, Loveplaced sixth or better three times in his lastsix starts, including a season-ending win atDisney, the 20th of his career.

    After finishing 154th in regular seasonFedExCup points to miss the playoffs,Love ended 08 with almost $1.7 millionin earnings (48th). But other than drivingdistance, his stats were pretty dismal acrossthe board even with his strong finish,which carried over to a tie for second in his

    09 opener, placing him within rthe top 50 in the World RankingMasters berth.

    Imada scored his first PGA Tou

    four seasons in Atlanta, but will notopportunity to defend his title defunct AT&T Classic. Imada haof runner-up finishes among thrfives early in 08 and a near win in Series, ending the season 13th in e with over $3 million. Imadas stemmed largely from an outstandiwith the putter, which produced asion of strong final rounds and offsawful stats in the ball striking cateThe 32-year-old Imada closed out 2helping lead Japan to a third place fthe World Cup.

    The list of Georgians who wouldsoon forget 2008 begins with A

    native Charles Howell. His e($1.45 million) were the lowest of hseasons on the PGA Tour, with twfour top-10 finishes coming in tSeries. As usual, Howell missed lotsways and putts, with his only redstat a first place finish in scoring on par 5s. Howell turns 30 in Juthere are probably not a lot of PGfollowers who would have prediwould have just two victories in

    nament in 08, as did former GeorgiaBulldog Ryuji Imada.

    The rest of Georgias PGA Tour mem-bers had to wait another week or two to

    start their 09 campaigns, with a commontheme the hope that this year will be amore successful one than 2008.

    On the surface, Cinks 08 season was anextremely successful one. He scored hisfirst win in five years in Hartford, the siteof his first PGA Tour victory as a rookie in1997. He was part of a victorious RyderCup team for the first time in four starts,and enjoyed his best ever finish in theMasters (solo third). Cink was fifth in thePGA Tours all-around statistical category,

    F

    [ SeeGeorgians,page 6 ]

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    G O L F F O R E G E O R G I A . C O M2 0 0 9 F E B R U A R Y

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    4 G O L F F O R E G E O R G I A . C O M

    ByTedFortPGA Golf Professional

    Marietta Golf Center

    Have you ever played with

    someone that couldnt putt

    the ball in an ocean with three

    chances? Even more impor-

    tantly, are you that person?

    Anyone thathas everplayed

    the game understands the

    whimsical nature of putting.

    Even some of the greatest

    golfers in history, like Hogan

    and Watson, became frustrated with it. Its

    a part of the game that allows all players,

    amateurs or pros, males or females, begin-

    ners or veterans, to empathize with the

    Tour player that misses a four footer.

    One thing to understand is that theres

    noone wayto accomplish thetaskof get-

    ting the ball in the hole. But, with this in

    mind, its important to understand that

    some characteristics go together. Without

    goinginto infinitedetail,I willexplainwhat

    some strokes have in common. In order to

    choose a putter that matches your style,

    you must understand how to qualify your

    style.

    Player A:There are players that attempt

    to keep the face of the putter square

    during the entire stroke. These are the

    players that feel a straight back and

    straight through stroke with a square face.Its similar tothe actionof a dogs door, and

    some equate the motion to that of a pen-

    dulum. Thefollowing thingstendto be the

    case for this player: sees the

    putter head move on a straight

    line, keeps the face square,

    holds the grip in the middle of

    the palm, holds the club very

    upright, feels no release, and

    aligns the face of the putter to

    the hole.

    Player B: Others allow

    the face to open and close,

    which would be similar to the action of a

    saloon door. This player sees the putter

    head making a blurred arc on the ground.

    Forthis player, thesecharacteristicstend to

    exist: sees the putter head move in an arc,

    allows the face to open and close, holds

    the putter closer to the fingers than the

    palm, holds the club flatter, feels a release,

    and aligns the face of the putter slightly to

    the right of the hole.

    For those that like to keep things

    uncomplicated, player A should play with

    a face balanced putter. And, player B

    should play with a heel shafted putter. If

    yourea feel playerand thats all youneed

    to know, stop reading.

    The two putters in the top of the picture

    are face balanced, one with an S shaped

    shaft and one with a center shaft. And, the

    two putters in the bottom of the pictureare heel shafted or not face balanced.

    For others that require a greater depth

    of understanding, were goingto diga little

    deeper. It is not mandatory that all of the

    characteristics listed in player A or player

    B have to co-exist, but they tend to co-

    exist. One of the things thatIve mentioned

    is the release of the putter. We need to

    define the wordreleaseas there are many

    misguided efforts to do so.

    I know that Tiger discussed the positive

    effect thatreleasing the putter had forhim.

    So, to begin, we have to describe the con-

    dition ofthe left wrist.Although itis impor-tant to have a flat left wrist in the full

    stroke, its not as important in the putting

    stroke. But, its extremely important the

    wrist remain in thecondition that it began.

    Maintaining a flat left wrist would be

    placing a ruler under your watch and not

    breaking it. A bent left wrist would be

    breaking the ruler. If your left wrist starts

    flat orbent,keepit inthatcondition during

    the entire stroke. We will define releasing

    as the closing of the face while main-

    taining the left wrist condition, and the

    word we use for this is roll.

    To keepthis article shorterthanWar and

    Peace, we are going to end with two addi-

    tional points. Firstly,the feel of roll exists for

    those using heel shafted putters. And, the

    feel of no roll exists for those using a face

    balanced putter. The shaft will rotate

    around a clubs center of gravity. Therefore,

    if the club is face balanced, the shaft runs

    through the clubs center of gravity. And, it

    results in the feeling of no roll.

    Secondly, because the ball compresses

    against the face, there is a small interval of

    time in which the ball is stuck to the face.

    For the player that uses a closing face, it

    should beopenat address,openat impact,

    and square at separation (when the ball

    leaves). For the player that keeps the face

    square, it should be square at address,

    square at impact, andsquare at separation.

    For this reason, it is IMPERATIVE to haveyour putter fit to your desired pattern. The

    days of choosing a putter based on name

    brand, cool colors, or price are history.

    And, for the feel player that kept

    reading, I warnedyouto stop.For theengi-

    neers that need more information, Id be

    happy to respond to a