McIlroy’s 436 yard monstrous swing

They say golf swing power is the result of three specific factors. The first 2 are more important than the third. Those three factors are: swing mechanics, golf strength (your fitness), and golf equipment. Here is the best example video we could get – Rory McIlroy getting all the 3 right. Watch this monstrous drive carrying the ball to 436 yards. It nearly missed Ian Poulter who was in the group putting on the green at the time.

McIlroy apologised to Poulter for nearly hitting them once he reached the green, and cheekily told him: ‘I only hit a three-wood’.

Greatest Masters Shots Ever

As we prepare for the quest for another green jacket, we thought it would be fun to relive some of the greatest masters moments in history.

2010 – Mickelson’s shot from the pine needles

With two pine trees, a creek, and over two hundred yards between him and the pin, Mickelson delivered a blistering iron off the pine needles through the trees to four feet. it was perhaps one of the gutsiest shots ever played – the birdied hole led to a 67 and his third green jacket.

2005 – Tiger’s chip from the collar

Trailing Chris DiMarco, Woods knocked his tee shot over the green, where it came to rest against the collar of the first cut of rough. After taking stock of the situation, he hit a low spinning pitch, landing the ball 25 feet above the hole. The ball bit and then trickled down to the cup, hanging ever so briefly onto the lip before dropping in. The crowd erupted, and Tiger went on to win the green jacket in a playoff.

1987 – Larry Mize’s chip in

At the end of 72 holes, Larry Mize and Greg Norman both led the pack in the 1987 Masters. On the second hole of a sudden-death playoff, Norman hit his approach shot to the edge of the green, while Mize sprayed his second some 150 feet right and long. Norman looked destined to win his first green jacket until Mize bounced his third shot onto the green and into the hole. With Norman unable to sink his birdie putt, Mize won his first and only major championship.

1987 – Nicklaus’s Final Masters

At the 1987 Masters Nicklaus made a monumental back-nine charge, shooting a 30 that featured an eagle-birdie-birdie stretch on 15, 16, & 17. The round featured a number of clutch shots, but the tricky 12-footer he holed for birdie on 17 most resonates in people’s memories. Nicklaus went on to par the 18th and carded a 65 – he then watched his competitors falter, giving him his 6th green jacket.

1935 – Gene Sarazen’s Double Eagle

Unfortunately we don’t have a video, but Gene Sarazen’s historic hole-out for double eagle went a long way toward helping popularize the Masters (then called the Augusta National Invitational). Deciding between a 3-wood and 4-wood, he chose the latter and hit a towering shot that flew some 235 yards, cleared a greenside pond, and dropped into the hole. The deuce tied Sarazen for the lead with Craig Wood – he then went on to win the only 36-hole playoff in Masters history.

The One Blog Post Tim Finchem Should Read In 2011

We’re happy to announce a new guest blogger here for the Scratch pad. is the golf blog of Jon Birdsong, where he writes about the traditions and culture of golf. We’re excited to add Jon’s perspective to our blog by sharing some of his best posts with you. Great to have you on board, Jon!

Memberships are down, fewer patrons are attending tournaments, the economy is still recovering and the Tour’s main attraction is searching for his game. If I could put one blog post in front of Tim Finchem, it would be this one.

My message would be simple: golf tournaments should adapt to these times. Not golf, not the players, but tournaments – the entire experience. The on-course experience carries over directly to the TV viewer. When the fans are into every shot, the viewers are in it as well.

These aren’t the boom years of the Tiger Slam. The PGA Tour now has an opportunity to let fans feel much more engaged with golf’s best.


Every time I’m at a tournament, I always hear a fan exclaim how excited they get when players or their favorite player walk by in between holes. This is valuable for the Tour to know. Let the patrons get closer — closer to everything: the players, the green, maybe not the fairway.

Here is a great example of a classic golf gallery:

I love this photo. It shows appreciative fans who want to see one of the greatest work his craft. This is how golf should be spectated…even today. Continue reading “The One Blog Post Tim Finchem Should Read In 2011”

Why was Ian Poulter in such a hurry?

In a tournament earlier this year, Ian Poulter sprinted from the 17th tee all the way to the green, putted out, and then teed off on 18 while his playing partner Dustin Johnson was still on the green and Phil Mickelson’s group was just walking off the 18th tee.

Why the rush?

By putting a ball in play on the 18th, Poulter and Johnson were able to finish their round even though the horn sounded to end play. If the horn had sounded while they were still playing the 17th, they would have had to show up for a 7:30ish tee time this morning, play one hole, and then hang around for a few hours to start their 4th round.

I think DJ owes Poulter a drink for getting him a few extra hours of sleep this morning.

Derek is a guest blogger on the Scratch Pad. To view more of his daily posts, visit

Great Swings: Sam Snead

When Gary Player says it’s the greatest swing of all time and when Lee Trevino says that’s the swing he would teach to his children, then that’s a swing to pay attention. We’re talking about Slammin’ Sammy, holder of the record for most wins on the PGA tour at 82 (or 83 as some proponents would contend).

Sam was always focused on Rhythm. He learned to play barefoot, which is perhaps his secret. There are many beautiful swing montages of Sam’s swing. Just watching them is enough to improve your game.



Sam Snead is perhaps best described by Jim Mclean, himself one of the best teachers in the game:

Some have said he was the greatest athlete ever to pick up a golf club. Some say he was the greatest player of all time. Some refer to his 81 victories on the PGA Tour, the most ever. Some say his shooting under his age in a PGA Tour event was the most amazing fact (a 66 at age 67). Some might argue it was that he shot 60 at age 71 on the challenging, par-72 Upper Cascades course. It’s hard to hang one tag on Sam Snead, but if I had to, I believe it would be “He had the sweetest swing in the history of the game”.

Great Swings: Seve Ballesteros

We’ve received a lot of feedback from our members about adding in more content to help improve their games. We’ll be doing just that, starting with a series of posts that highlight the swings of great professional golfers.

We’ll be starting out with a golfer who the London Times said “brought passion and risk to golf” and whom a fellow pga tour pro described as “playing golf shots I don’t even see in my dreams” – the late Seve Ballesteros.

Seve joined the tour in 1974 at age 16, and won 91 tournaments (including 50 on the European Tour) over the next 33 years. He was known for his shot-making flair, with an expert sense of feel and extreme hand control that let him shape and finesse shots that amazed the crowd and his competitors.



A great summary of his swing style is found in his obituary that ran in the Economist magazine

Luck, said some. Miraculous said others, as they sighed at his soft blasts out of bunkers on to the green, or the fluid grace of his swing. Commentators talked of natural genius, as though he was still a seven-year old whacking a pebble with a homemade club on a beach in Cambria. His impoverished family put it down to destino. Such talk annoyed him. It was all hard graft and iron discipline: hitting a ball, alone, for hours. It started in boyhood, putting into tomato cans on a bumpy two-hole piece of field on his parents’ farm, or driving into a fishing net hung in the barn. He reckoned he had hit 1,000 balls a day. Because he had only one club, a 3-iron, he learned how to do everything with it: low, powerful shots, high soft-landing shots and impossible recovery shots out of long, tangled grass. He could improvise his way out of anything.

How do you compare to the best?

MyScorecard’s You versus the Pros performance report offers you the ability to compare your skill against your favorite PGA and LPGA professional.

But how good do you have to be to graduate from Q-School?

We’ve run the numbers for the 2010 PGA and LPGA tour season in terms of 3 of the most often tracked statistics: Driving Distance, Greens in Regulation, and Putting.

Driving Distance

Averaging 315+ yards per drive, Robert Garrigus is far and away the longest driver on the PGA tour, with Bubba Watson leading the rest of the pack. But do you have to be a 300+ yard driver to be on the Men’s Tour? Not quite so. The vast majority of PGA tour players drive between 280 and 300 yards – but you’d better be at least 275 or longer if you want to play on the tour.
Top and Average Driving Distance for PGA Tour Pros

Greens in Regulation (GIR)

In contrast to the Men’s tour, it is the LPGA pros that lead in GIR accuracy. Continue reading “How do you compare to the best?”