Monday, June 13, 2016

Remembering Larry Nelson: Champion at the 1983 U.S. Open at Oakmont

cc from Oakmont CC

This week, June 16th- 19th, 2016, the 116th U.S. Open golf tournament will be held at the historic Oakmont Country Club in Pennsylvania. This is one of the four Major golf tournaments in professional golf, and in many peoples' minds (including mine) the most prestigious of them all. I wanted to remember one of my favorite U.S. Opens in 1983, when one of my favorite golfers Larry Nelson won.

About Oakmont and the U.S. Open

Oakmont has held more Major golf championships than any other golf course in the U.S., including 8 U.S. Opens and 3 PGA Championships. The course was built in 1903 by designer Henry Fownes, and is considered one of the most difficult courses in America, rated #4 in Golf Digest.

Since 1983, there have been 2 Opens held here, one in 1994 when Ernie Els won, and one in 2007 when Angel Cabrera won. Before 1983, greats such as Johnny Miller won here in 1973, Jack Nicklaus won in 1962, and Ben Hogan won in 1953.

1983 U.S. Open

Personally, I think the U.S. Open is the best golf tournament in the world, and is greater than even the British Open. This is the championship of golf period. The high rough, fast greens, and long courses are always testing the best players in the world to their limits.

In 1983 this was no different, as Tom Watson, Seve Ballesteros, Calvin Peete, and Larry Nelson fought for the title. Mostly the battle was between Tom Watson and Larry Nelson, although this was Seve's second best effort in an Open (4th overall).

Tom had won the Open for the first time in 1982 at Pebble Beach in the famous tournament where he chipped in a birdie at the difficult 17th hole to edge out Jack Nicklaus. It looked as though Tom was going to march right on through the field to win his second Open in a row, yet there was this quiet man called Larry Nelson going on a tear at Oakmont.

Larry shot a 6 under (65) on Saturday to emerge from the field and enter into the final day at Even. Tom and Seve were in the final group starting Sunday at -1, Calvin Peete started the day also at Even. The 65 was the hottest round of the tournament, and Larry kept up the heat on the final day.

Larry had won the PGA Championship in 1981, and went on to win his third and last major in 1987 with another PGA Championship. Tom came closer than anyone to winning multiple U.S. Opens in the 80s, but only captured the one in 1982.

Larry went on to win the 1983 U.S. Open by one shot after a weather delay caused the last few holes to be postponed til Monday. The lighting was threatening the players, and Tom was the first (as usual) to smartly say he wanted off the course.

The play resumed on Monday morning, and on the first hole Larry played (long par 3 16th), Larry made a monstrous putt for birdie to gain a one stroke advantage. Tom went on to bogey the 17th, giving Larry a two shot advantage finishing up on the 18th.

Larry went on to three putt and bogey the 18th, giving Tom one last chance to tie with a birdie. The tough 18th hole was long par 4, not easy to par much alone birdie, and Tom's birdie chip missed, grazing the hole and rolling over 30 ft away. Miraculously, he putted his par putt in, but it was too late and Larry was the winner by one stroke.

1980s Was Best Decade of Golf

I've watched all the U.S. Opens in the 1980s because of the YouTube channel I've shared below. You too can watch the entire final round of the 1983 U.S. Open from this channel.

Personally, I think the 80s was the greatest decade in golf, because it was the time right before the metal woods came out. The competition was better than ever and the clubs still required genuine skill to strike the ball solid. In my opinion the 80s was the last time golf wasn't ruined by technology and sponsors. This is why I enjoy watching 80s golf more than the tournaments today.

Larry Nelson is one of my favorite players because of his humility, his faith in Jesus Christ, his bravery to serve in Vietnam, and his talent at the game of golf. He was about as pure of a natural talent as there ever was in golf, breaking Par on 18 holes within the first year of picking up golf! This was his shinning moment in golf, and the long putt on the 16th hole from over 40 ft was emblematic of the entire tournament – it was his destiny to win.

Tom was a gracious man in defeat, smiling and saying Larry deserved to win caused he played the best golf. Simply put, but considering Tom played the front 9 of the last day with a -5 under, he had to think the tournament was his.

Indeed, Tom's final day 69 (-2) was brilliant, but Larry's 67 (-4) was simply better. In fact, his 65-67 finish was simply amazing, considering only three players finished under par for the tournament: Larry (-4), Tom (-3), and Gil Morgan (-1). Gil played some last moment heroics to shoot a hard fought 68, but was never really in the mix on the last day. Really, only Seve, Tom, and little known Larry Nelson were in the picture throughout the day.

2016 U.S. Open Golf Winner Predictions

As for this year at Oakmont, we have a whole new pack of players vying for the title. Phil Mickelson is the sentimental favorite, as this is the major he's never won, although he's been painfully close a few times. No one in the golf world would complain seeing Phil win this year, but sometimes wanting something so badly makes it even tougher. Just like Seve and Sam Snead never winning the U.S. Open, although Sam, like Phil, was so very close many times.

Personally, my pick for the this years 2016 U.S. Open is Matt Kuchar. Matt has never won a Major, and is a mature 37 years old. He's been playing as good as anyone this year, and I think he has the right attitude and game to win on Oakmont.

Also look out for Dustin Johnson and Sergio Garcia, as they, after Phil, are likely the most hungry and capable out of the chasing pack. As for a dark horse prediction, I would pick Shane Lowry (chosen after 1st round because I found out Ken Duke wasn't in field), who's has played inspiring golf this year and is more confident than ever.

I'll be paying attention to this years tournament at Oakmont, but because I don't watch television and it's not being played on PGA Tour Live, I might not get to see most of it. Sometimes I can watch some online live with certain channels, although this year it's on FOX. (Watched it on U.S.Open App and website for free).

That's another thing that made 80s' U.S. Opens so great, was the ABC broadcast crew of Jim Marr, Jim McKay, Peter Alliss, Bob Rosburg, Judy Rankin, and Ed Sneed. There's never been a better crew of announcers, although I do enjoy Nick Faldo, Jim Nantz, and Johnny Miller. Regardless, enjoy the 1983 and 2016 U.S. Open golf tournament, and here's to many more.   

1983 U.S. Open Golf

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Saving Double and Triple Bogey on Trouble Holes

My Ben Hogan Persimmon Woods and Blade Irons

 Really, comparing ourselves to professional golfers will mostly just frustrate us, when trying to get better. Truth is, the average golfer has trouble breaking 100 if keeping their score correctly. To be honest, I sometimes still have trouble breaking 100 on certain days, but generally I'm just trying to break 90. While saving par is great, I'm realizing the biggest problem with my game is saving double and even triple bogey.

(I realize saving par means one-putting, but this is more a lesson in adjusting our mentality on danger zone holes.)

A good solid round to me is one where I get nothing worse than a bogey. I'll admit though, this is a rare occurrence. Generally, my rounds will see at least a few more than bogey holes. Hopefully, this category isn't full of worse than d. bogeys. This is what I want to talk about here.

As an example, let's look at my rounds playing in the River Ridge men's league. I've played there four times (18 holes) this year 2016, and these are the stats of my worse than bogey holes:

1st round (+15): 2 d. bogeys (2holes) (+4) (27%)

2nd round (+17): 1 d. bogeys, 2 triple bogeys, 1 quad. Bogey (4 holes) (+12) (71%)

3rd round (+29): 6 d. bogeys, 2 triple bogeys, 1 quad bogey (9 holes) (+22) (76%)

4th round (+21): 6 d. bogey, 2 triple bogeys (8 holes) (+18) (86%)

In the first parentheses is my overall score for the 18 holes, the others are self-explanatory. For me, learning to save double and even triple is an important step in playing better golf. As a 15 handicapper, I should be playing somewhat better than a couple of these scores. Nevertheless, these are the best efforts I could manage this year in the competition of men's league.

The Danger Zone

I tend to get myself into real trouble on the course on average about 5-6 holes a round. Mostly this is caused by my tee shots, whether it's a par three, four, or five. Par three because generally there's some water or trouble that I can hit into and have a penalty stroke, and there's not much forgiveness when getting into trouble on Par 3's.

Driving the ball behind a tree, slicing it out of bounds, or finding some water – is many times when I enter the danger zone on a hole. When the strokes I've hit begin to confuse my brain when I'm adding them up, I'm in real danger of losing concentration and then losing another shot or two in the process – which is how a triple and quad bogey are created.

For instance, say I hit the ball OB off the tee with my driver on a par 5, 500 yards, then hit the ball into a tree about 200 yards out with my 3rd shot (the next shot on the tee after penalty stroke). So, now I'm in the danger zone, hitting four from a position where I need to chip out. This is a critical time to adjust my thinking to try and save double or triple.

The hole is a par 5, so I have 300 yards to go, and I have to chip out my 4th shot into the fairway only 10 yards advancing. Now, I'm hitting my 5th shot (par) from 290 yards away. This is when my brain begins to melt trying to figure out what shot I'm hitting and how I'm playing so badly and slowly... But, this is when I should be adjusting my thinking to a new realistic goal for the hole.

Realistically, I can hit the ball a good 190 yards with my 3 iron, and then have a 100 yards in with my 6th shot. That will leave me two putts to save my triple bogey, and if I play it real well I could get a d. bogey with a one putt. This is the adjusted mentality I want to have, to basically save triple bogey on a trouble hole. If I then walk off on that Par 5 with a triple bogey, I'm feeling decent because I was able to salvage the hole after two bad shots.

Let's take a Par 4, 410 yards for example this time. Say I hit a sliced drive around 230 yards, then I have a very dangerous shot over some trees and a large pond 30 yards in front of the green. I would have to hit the ball 180 yards over some decent sized trees and over the water to hit the green in regulation. I decide to lay up and hit a 110 yard shot in front of the pond.

I then chunk the 70 yard 3rd shot into the pond. Now, I'm hitting four and in the danger zone. Before I was trying to play for bogey maybe a one putt par, but because of the duff I have to adjust my mentality to now save d. bogey. So, the plan is to hit my fourth shot on the green and two putt for a d. bogey. This is saving d. bogey, or even saving bogey if one putt.

The Results of Adjusting our Mentality

The reason I think this lesson will help, is because if we can manage these 5-6 trouble holes with the right perspective, then we can shave a few strokes off our rounds each time. Although, a round may seem to be one tragedy after another, if we look at it realistically, we'll see there's really only a handful of holes that got real ugly.

We have to remember, these trouble holes will comprise 50-85% of our over par score. If were trying to improve our score, these trouble holes are where we need to focus. Not by unrealistically saying they won't be there, but by being ready for them when they come. If they don't come, then great, but when they do come, we'll be ready with the right perspective.


We know when we're in the danger zone, it's not a mystery when these trouble holes are upon us. These are the holes with the most impact on our score, and if we can salvage them with a double or triple bogey, then we can avoid the quads and more scores – which devastate a round.

Many times, when I'm in the danger zone, my confidence and concentration are weakened and I then become susceptible to a three putt or some poor shot after the damage, which then gets me a triple or quad bogey. If we're to get better, we have to learn to forget quickly the bad shots.

Bad shots come from bad swings, and the more consistent we get with our full swings, the less bad shots we'll hit. Out of the 40 full swings we may take in one round, 35 may be solid strikes, while 5 are either tops, chunks, toes, or heels. Hopefully these 5 bad swings don't cause us a penalty, but they generally do cost us at least one shot. When it goes into a penalty, they cost us generally two.

So, in conclusion, when we go out and play next time, be prepared for those trouble holes and apply an adjusted mentality to salvage a double or triple bogey. This should save us from getting anything worse than a triple, and turn many quads into triples, triples into doubles, and even doubles into bogeys.  

Friday, June 3, 2016

Jordan Spieth: the Darling of the Wicked, Wins the Dean and Deluca 2016

screen shot of the PGA Tour Live App Jordan's Satanic Salute

 Jordan Spieth won the Dean and Deluca Invitational 2016 (what a dumb name), at the Colonial Country Club, famously known for Ben Hogan's prowess there among others. One thing I bet Ben Hogan never did, was flip a Satanic hand salute when he held the trophy, like Jordan was all to willing to do. Now, critics may say this was only a symbol of his Texas Longhorns college team, as this was his first Texas win – yet this is simply naive thinking.

This is the same Jordan Spieth who went to a Jesuit high school remember, plays golf with Satanist Skull and Bones member George Bush, and also plays golf with sell-outs like Tony Romo. Not surprising, he has this wry knowing smile on his young face, while flipping the Satanic salute after his win. Most likely, we'll see this sign more and more often from the young darling of the wicked.

Professional sports at the highest level anymore is nothing more than a distraction and a way to control the populace. It has nothing to do with a love for the sport it's representing. Golf is no different, as we can see with Jordan's signs.

See, Jordan isn't so ignorant to not understand what this sign he's making means in the Satanic world. The famous people he hangs out with flip this sign all the time, showing their allegiance to the Vatican led New World Order, which is a Satanic worshiping cult. 

Yes, they really do believe Lucifer is their god. While I would like to naively give Jordan a pass on this one as well, how can I – when it's so very blatant and obvious what he's doing? His eyes give it away, his face tells us he knows what this sign means.

This satanic salute is so very important for the occultic elite to see, in order for Jordan to be accepted and the new darling of the wicked. They watch for these signs, and communicate with each other through signs like these. This is why this photo was taken to memorialize this victory at the Dean and Deluca Invitational this year of 2016. What a proud moment for the satanic elite...

Let me ask you Christians, have you ever heard a professional golfer (Christian) speak about the Christians being slaughtered in the Middle East? Have you ever heard them speaking about how Christian establishments are being discriminated against by the LGBT movement in the U.S., which is backed by the government? Have you ever heard any Christians on the PGA Tour talk about anything beyond their scripted lines...?

No...instead they're like robots, deathly afraid to speak up about what's really going on in the world. Afraid of their sponsors taking away their money, or the Tour suspending them from playing. They fear man and not God, and thus are compromised and living a luke-warm Christian life.

The PGA Tour and other similar pro tours, are completely driven by sponsorships and money, and not the love of the game. Anyone who really loves the game isn't going to use a driver the size of a basketball, and $1000 range finders...modern golf is not golf anymore – it's a video game full of crybabies and sell-outs.

Jordan Spieth is a good poster child for this modern golf world, and a great darling for the wicked to pat on the back. Yet, of course, in order to deceive we must put on "airs" of compassion and goodness, of course. Just look at the Freemason Shriners, they even have a children's hospital. Anyone who understands what Freemasons are about at the top level understands how wrong this is – esp. the wicked Shriners...

Yet, most people don't understand what Freemasons are about, and they don't care to know either. As long as they can pretend everything is wonderful and good, as long as there is someone to sell-out to for money, as long as Satan protects their wealth and stuff on this earth – even if it means hell for eternity.

How trite this world really is, when it only last for at most a hundred years. It's amazing people simply sell their souls so easily, and disregard the truth of Jesus Christ and the truth of this wicked world.

How trite and meaningless this modern golf world is, full of sell-outs and people afraid to speak anything out of line. How uninspiring and dull this world really is...Jordan Spieth and Jason Day are great ambassadors of this for are the others.