Wednesday, April 29, 2009

8th Annual PGA Players Survey

Sports Illustrated recently polled 72 players from the PGA tour on the current state of golf as well as other current events. Here is a sample:

Do you have Tiger's phone number on your speed dial?

11% Yes
89% No

Tiger Woods has won 14 majors. Will he break Jack Nicklaus's record of 18?

100% Yes
0% No

Who will win a major first: Sergio Garcia, Anthony Kim, Rory McIlroy, Adam Scott or Camilo Villegas?

48% Garcia
19% Kim
14% McIlroy
12% Villegas
7% Scott

Who is the second-best player in golf?

72% Phil Mickelson
12% Sergio Garcia
6% Padraig Harrington

Ernie Els, Padraig Harrington, Phil Mickelson and Vijay Singh all have won three majors. Which player will end his career having won the most?

70% Mickelson
25% Harrington
3% Els
2% Singh

With the Dow around 8,000, have you lost more than $1 million in net worth?

Yes 23%
No 77

Who is the best-dressed player?

Tiger Woods 41%
Adam Scott 19%
Tommy Armour III 14%

Who is the worst-dressed player?

Steve Elkington 24%
Eric Axley 22%
Woody Austin 22%
Ian Poulter 16%

Which of these couples would you and your significant other most want to have dinner with?

Jack and Barbara Nicklaus 33%
Barack and Michelle Obama 33%
Brad and Angelina 24%
Todd and Sarah Palin 7%
Rory and Amy Sabbatini 3%

Barack Obama and Sarah Palin run for president in 2012. Who gets your vote?

Obama 53%
Palin 26%
Undecided 21%

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Caddyshack Scene

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Tracking your statistics from the course can be very helpful in pinpointing the specific strengths and weaknesses of your game. Once you pinpoint these areas, it will be easier to make the necessary adjustments to lower your score. Here are some important statistics to track when you play.

FAIRWAYS IN REGULATION (FIR) – Hitting a fairway in regulation occurs when you hit the fairway with your first tee shot.
GREENS IN REGULATION (GIR) – Hitting a green in regulation occurs when you hit the green with your first shot on a par three, second shot on a par four, or by your third shot on a par five.
SAND SAVES – A sand save is when you hit one shot out of the sand onto the green and make your first putt.
UP AND DOWNS – An up and down is when you hit a chip or pitch onto the green, and then make your first putt.
PUTTING – Putting statistics are kept by counting your total putts for each hole and then adding them up at the end of your round. Additionally, you could take your total putts for the round, divide them by 18, and get your average putts per hole.

SCORING BREAKDOWNAfter your round, it can be helpful to break down your scores into number of birdies, pars, bogeys, double bogeys, and others. Over time, you can find out how you are improving by increasing birdies and pars, or decreasing in total bogeys, double bogeys, etc.

NUMBER OF 3 PUTTS – Of course, no one wants to three putt a hole, but this can be a helpful statistic to keep.

PENALTY STROKES – Tracking this can allow you to see how many penalty strokes are affecting your score. This can be from hitting it out of bounds, hitting into a water hazard, unplayable lies, lost balls, and so on.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The 20th Hole Book Reviews

Here are a few book reviews of "The 20th Hole - Stat Book and Log for Golfers". All reviews and details of the book can be viewed at

How good would you be if you understood your stats on the golf course a little better? How many fairways do you hit from round to round? How about putts or greens in regulation? I’m a firm believer that an analysis of stats is the way to improvement. Statistics do not lie, and while I don’t need extra reinforcement to let me know that I’m in need of improvement, I relish the chance to pour through my stats.

One of the most unique aspects of this book is the feel. It feels like I’m learning and is similar to a school workbook or homework for golf. Now before you shudder, I should clarify, this is not homework that you are going to mind. Instead of worthless algebra equations and run of the mill geography lessons, you’re really helping your golf game. This book has space for quick comments, goals, achievements and every on-course stat imaginable. I would call it the ultimate record of course management!

Adam McCaa
Publisher – Prosnhackers Magazine

As a golf professional for over 30 years, I’ve seen many teaching aids and I feel this book is a quality and beneficial product. I would recommend this book to any golfer who wants to discover the ins and outs of their game. Tracking specific stats can help any golfer find out the true strengths and weaknesses of their game. Taking notes from lessons and practice sessions can provide a resource to look back and remember the most important and vital swing keys. A good product for organizing all the relevant information any golfer would need!

George Danielson
PGA Professional
Owner – Every Body Golf School

Of all the golf journals or logs I’ve seen, The 20th Hole is by far the most comprehensive. The various sections are organized to help a golfer set specific goals, track every stat, record notes and keys learned in lessons, track new shots learned, and record every golf record they’ve set. All in all, it’s a nice new product that can be of benefit to golfers of all skill levels!

Travis Shepherd
Manager – PGA Superstore

When I received The 20th Hole, I was skeptical. How could taking notes help my game? The only thing that I thought could help was playing and practicing more. Well, after using Matt Gullo’s book and recording some of my rather poor stats, my skepticism was proven incorrect. When I started recording information about my various shots; both good and bad, I started to see some consistencies that I never knew I had. Knowing specifically what shots to practice on has helped my game. It turns out that a few minutes of taking notes after each round can truly be helpful and The 20th Hole makes taking those notes easy to do in a meaningful and organized format.

Michael Balkind
Author of the Deadly Sports Mystery series
Sudden Death, Dead Ball
New York

Wednesday, April 15, 2009



The Greatest Game Ever Played

The book details the true story of Francis Ouimet and Harry Vardon during their duel at the 1913 U.S. Open at Brookline in Massachusetts. Ouimet was a 20 year old amateur who grew up across the street from the course and caddied there. Vardon was the British champion who was the best in the world at the time.

The book discusses each of their lives as well as many other great characters of the game. The book provides a great background on both men, and describes how each reached that point in their lives. This is an unbelievable story and has also been turned into a movie starring Shia Labeouf and directed by Bill Paxton. I highly recommend this book.

Uneven Lies
Pete McDaniel

Uneven Lies provides historical content on the struggles of African Americans trying to make it professionally in golf. There are many interesting stories about players including Lee Elder, Charlie Sifford, Calvin Peete, Jim Dent, and many more. Tiger Woods provides the foreward. This is an excellent book with a lot of great information. Recently, the Uneven Lies documentary was on the golf channel.

Sudden Death
Michael Balkind

This a a fiction novel that combines golf and murder. Usually I'm not big on fiction novels but since this one involved golf, I thought I'd give it a try. This book revolves around Reid Clark, the #1 player on tour as he plays each tournament under heavy death threats. This book is good for beach reading or reading by the pool.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


My new book “The 20th Hole – Stat Book and Log for Golfers" is now available at

The idea behind this book is that you play 18 holes, visit the 19th hole to have a drink and discuss the round with your friends, and once you get home you record your stats and analyze your round at the 20th hole. This helps you pinpoint the areas in which you need the most improvement.

This is a combination stat book/log/instructional book for golfers.

Features of this book include:

• Track statistics such as FIR, GIR, putting, sand saves, and up and downs for 40 rounds.

• Perform post round analysis for 40 rounds.

• Average stats after every 5 rounds.

• Set golf goals and track progress.

• Log notes and keys from 50 practice sessions or lessons.

• Start a golf record book for scoring records, greatest shots, etc.

• Add to your golf shot repertoire.

• Instruction provided on fundamentals, course management, swing thoughts, golf in the off-season, etc.

For more detailed information, log onto


“Watch a tour player go through his pre-shot routine, and you'll almost never see him walk in from the side and make a practice swing right next to the ball. He faces the target from behind the ball, to visualize his shot, and makes a couple of gentle practice swings with his eyes on the target before stepping in.”

Hank Haney, Tiger Wood's coach

Here is an excerpt from "The 20th Hole Golf Book Series"

You should use a pre-shot routine before every shot you hit on the course. The idea behind using a pre-shot routine is to become focused before the shot and become more consistent over time. Using the same routine can help you get the proper mind set and become comfortable before each shot.

The next time you are watching the touring professionals on television, take a close look at the routines they go through each time. The routine will not guarantee that you will hit a great shot, but it can help you become more consistent. It will take time to develop a comfortable pre-shot routine and it is best to do whatever comes natural.

I would recommend trying to make it fairly quick and efficient. You don’t want to have it too drawn out and allow yourself to think about too much. For instance, for a tee shot, the main idea should be to visualize the shot, pick a target in your mind, take one or two rehearsals swings, set up to the ball, look at your target again, take a waggle or two if necessary, have one or two key “swing thoughts” in mind, and then take your swing.

For chipping or pitching, you can use a pre-shot routine as well. For these shots, you should first analyze the lie you have and try and predict how the ball will react. You should also view the slopes and undulations of the green and pick a spot you would like to land the ball. Visualize how you would like the shot to look, pick your landing target, take a few rehearsal swings to get a feel for the grass, take another look at your target, have one or two key “swing thoughts” in your mind, and then hit the chip or pitch.

For putting, you will have a pre-putt routine and it’s the exact same concept. First, you should mark your ball and clean any mud or dirt off of it. Typically, you will view the slope of the green from behind the ball and you can also view the putt from the opposite side or from each side. The first goal is to pick an imaginary line in your mind that you think the ball will roll on. In order to stroke the putt on this line, you need to get the speed correct.

Once you replace your ball and pick up your mark, take a few practice strokes to get a feel for the speed you need to hit the putt. Have the imaginary line in your head and then stroke the real putt the same way as your practice strokes. The two most important considerations with putting are always line and speed.

In summary, having a quality pre-shot and pre-putt routine you are comfortable with can greatly benefit your game over the long run. It will help you to become more consistent, stay focused, and help in pressure situations. Develop your routine over time, and find the best one that works for you for each situation you face on the course.