Up & Down with TPI's Dave Phillips

Titleist Performance Institute co-founder and Golf Magazine Top 100 instructor Dave Phillips will be offering his expertise in a new series called "Up & Down with Dave Phillips." The series of short game tips is a collaboration between MyTPI.com and Vokey.com, and can be viewed from both sites. The first episode features Dave discussing bounce angle as it relates to wedge fitting and the new line of Vokey Design Spin Milled wedges. Be sure to click on the video player below to see Dave discuss this important aspect of wedge design.


To learn more about bounce, check out the bounce entry in the Vokey.com glossary.

The United Nations would be well served to convene at Upper Montclair Country Club this weekend. With players hailing from 23 countries on six continents, the ambassadors of the world's sovereign states could get insight on any number of global issues from the field at the LPGA Sybase Classic.

These golfers didn’t have to pass through Ellis Island, located 20 miles away, to get to the Clifton, NJ course, but they are working as hard as those who did to fulfill their dreams. There is a winner’s check worth $300,000 to be cashed; there are Solheim Cup points to be awarded; and there are records to be broken.

Walking the practice grounds one is greeted by the unique inflections and rhythms of many different tongues. A player and caddie whisper shot strategy in Korean. A trainer in the fitness trailer counts out reps and urges encouragement in French. The punchline to a swing coach's joke is delivered in Afrikaans. However, no translation is necessary for birdie, bogey, or even “career best” as was the case with Swede Helen Alfredsson’s first round 62.

The common language of these 144 players is golf. Once inside the ropes and the scorecards are exchanged, the red numbers are universal. A good shot is a good shot, and the applause for a great putt sounds the same all over the world.

Click here see some of the world’s best players who trust their games to the #1 Ball in Golf:

This way to follow your favorite LPGA player

TPC Tradition

No one can pinpoint exactly when it started, but Wednesday of the Players Championship is host to a wonderful tradition. Wednesday is the day the caddies take their games to the famed island green at TPC Sawgrass.

What started as school-yard style dare has evolved into the official Caddy Competition, complete with a leaderboard and prizes. If he or she chooses, each caddy can take a turn on the tee at the 17th hole. There are no mulligans, there is no drop zone. The caddy closest to the hole wins.

Click here to view a few images from the famed 17th hole at Sawgrass:

Pete Dye's most fearsome creation - the Island Green at 17

For a long time, the Tour players would toss some money into a kitty on the tee box. It was winner take all, with the caddy closest to the pin assuredly buying the first round that night.

Several years ago, it was proposed that the kitty be split 50/50. Half of the purse would go to veteran Tour caddy Bruce Edwards who was suffering from ALS. Of course the winning caddy immediately donated his half to Bruce’s care as well, and a new tradition was born. Since then 100% of the money donated on 17 tee is donated to the Bruce Edwards Foundation.

That doesn’t mean the most accurate caddy has to settle for mere bragging rights. This year CDW donated a new laptop computer and an iPod touch to the looper who would be lining up the shortest birdie putt.

The spoils went to Gareth Lord, long time caddy for Titleist Brand Ambassador Robert Karlsson. He stiffed his own pitching wedge to 6’1” and, for the record, he made the putt.

This tradition is no longer a secret of PGA Tour insiders. The scoreboards on hole 17 scrolled through the closet to the pin leaderboard, the “balls in water” stats, and posted each caddy’s name as he teed up his only shot of the day.

The competition has gained such a reputation that former President George H. Bush spent a couple of hours taking in the action on the 17th tee box. While he didn’t attempt the shot, it was clear to all who spoke to him that “41” wished he too was out playing a round with friends.

As part of its Play Golf America campaign, the PGA of America is launching a new, fun and innovative approach to learning the game. The "Get Golf Ready" program will be showcased in a CBS special, Sunday May 3, from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. EDT. The special will utilize a "reality TV" format with six new and former golfers going through the Get Golf Ready steps while receiving instruction from leading PGA and LPGA Professionals.

"Get Golf Ready" is the latest Play Golf America program that was created to expand golf's participant base by packaging a series of five instructional experiences, delivered in a fun and casual setting to attract new golfers and bring former golfers back to the sport.

The hour-long special features a team of acclaimed PGA of America teaching professionals, including Titleist Women's Advisory Board member and former LPGA Tour player Suzy Whaley of Farmington, Connecticut and Titleist Staff member and Golf Digest Top-50 instructor Todd Anderson of Sea Island, Georgia. Among those joining Suzy and Todd on the show will be Titleist Pro V1 loyalist and current LPGA Tour rookie Stacy Lewis.

Click here to read the full press release on PGA.com.

To learn more about Suzy Whaley, visit her website at http://www.suzywhaleygolf.com/biography.asp

To learn more about Todd Anderson, visit the Sea Island Golf Club website at http://www.seaisland.com/Content/85.htm#Instructors