Thursday, November 14, 2019

A Couple of Oldies in my Collection

As I was organizing my Ben Hogan Collection of golf clubs I came across these two clubs from Spalding.  The first is a Spalding Tour Model Dynamiter sand wedge.  From what I can obtain it is circa early 1940's.

The next club is an AG Spalding Bro's Cash In putter which is circa early 1920's.

I actually played both of these clubs in the late 1970's with success.  The putter in particular had such a soft and solid feel.  There was one player (Gary Hallberg) on the PGA TOUR that putted with this same type of putter in the 1980's with great success.  It's always fun to pull these old clubs out and hit a few shots.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

My Ben Hogan Collection (Golf Clubs, Prints and Misc.)

As a former assistant golf professional at Shady Oaks Country Club, in Fort Worth, TX, I was fortunate to meet Mr. Hogan.  In fact I saw him almost every day from 1981 through 1984.  

He would come from the locker room into the golf shop and the conversation would go something like this:

Me:  "Hello Mr. Hogan"
Mr. Hogan:  "Hello sonny, do you have a bag boy today?"
Me:  "Yes sir, he will load your clubs on a cart right now"

He would then proceed to the Par 3 Little Nine with the bag boy to hit balls for 2-3 hours.  The bag boy was his target and would collect the balls.  In the middle of the hottest summer Mr. Hogan was still hitting balls almost every day.  He kept three staff size golf bags (all full of clubs) in the bag room and his shag bag full of Ben Hogan golf balls.  One of the staff bags contained his "play" clubs and the others had as assortment of irons and woods.  Mr. Hogan claimed he could tell if someone was handling his golf clubs by the feel of grips.  I looked at his clubs everyday and yes, I would take them out of the bag and give them a waggle.  It was the oil from my hands he was feeling.

When I was first employed there I couldn't wait to get "on staff" with the Hogan Company.  This meant I would get a set of irons, woods, staff bag, gloves and golf balls each year.  My first year there was 1981 and I received a set of the Apex II irons and they were my favorite of all the Hogan irons I played over the years and I still have them in my collection.  I stayed on the Ben Hogan staff throughout my employment at Shady Oaks Country Club and Ridglea Country Club.  I admired everything about Mr. Hogan and I loved his devotion to making high quality equipment.  

Following are the sets of Ben Hogan irons I have in my collection.  It was fun to pull them all out of the garage and give them a look and a waggle.

I have arranged these in chronological order:

                                            1974 Director Irons 2-PW

                                            1982 Apex II Black Cameo Irons (missing 7 and 9)

                                            1999 Apex Irons 2-SW

                                            2003 Apex Golden Anniversary Irons 3-PW

                                            2004 Apex FTX Irons 3-PW

                                            2006 Apex Plus Irons 3-PW

                                            2016 Fort Worth Irons with Scor Wedges

                                            Odds and Ends

This was one of my favorite staff bags, I wish I still had the first one I received in 1981.

Over the last few years I have also collected various Ben Hogan Prints which I have on my office wall.  If I had more walls I would have a bigger collection!  I love all of these however.

This is my collection of Ben Hogan books.  Power Golf is the oldest and contains some really great action pictures of Mr. Hogan.  Ben Hogan, An American Life is one of my favorite books.  You really get an appreciation of the work he put in to become one of the best.

These last two items are really cool.  The first picture is a Hole in One Certificate from the Ben Hogan Company.  I made an ace on the 7th hole at Shady Oaks while I was an assistant there.

The next picture needs explaining.  Occasionally Mr. Hogan would practice on the driving range before going out to play a round.  And to his credit, he always signed a ticket paying for his practice balls.  I was always to afraid to ask Mr. Hogan for an autograph so I paid for his range balls on this day and kept the ticket as a souvenir.  That was me teeing off on the 17th hole at Shady Oaks in 1982.

So I have many memories of my stint in Fort Worth, Texas, at Shady Oaks Country Club and Ridglea Country Club.  I met many important people through golf at these facilities which influenced the way I ran my golf operations and the way I teach the game.  I hope you enjoyed viewing my Ben Hogan Collection.


Monday, November 11, 2019

Player Development Golf Clinics for November 2019

All of my Player Development Golf Clinics are held at Clay/Kizer Golf Course.  

Jeff Maggert Wins Charles Schwab Cup Championship

Congratulations to Jeff Maggert for his exciting win at the Charles Schwab Cup Championship.  Jeff is from The Woodlands, TX, and I met him while I was the head professional at the TPC at The Woodlands during the 1990's.  We played a few rounds together during my time there and he is a class act!  

The reason I posted this video is for my students that compete in tournaments.  None of us has a crystal ball and can predict what is going to happen next on the golf course.  All we can control as players is to have a consistent process of hitting a shot.  In other words, you cannot worry about the outcome of each shot.  You simply go through your pre shot routine for each shot at hand and execute.  

It also works both ways.  If you bogey the first hole, it doesn't mean you are going to have a bad day.  If you birdie the first hole, it doesn't mean you are going to play great.  All we can do is take each shot for what it is.

In Jeff's case, this was the third playoff hole.  Reteif Goosen had already put his second shot on the green for a makeable birdie putt.  Jeff went through his process and executed the shot right into the cup!

So for all my tournament players, never give up, because you just don't what will happen next.

Click on this link to watch the shot.

New Putting Training Aid from Eyeline Golf

I just added the new Bender Putting Board (Eyeline Golf) to my teaching toolbox and I am a huge fan.  When combined with the MyRoll 2-color ball (Eyeline Golf) you will improve your path, starting line and roll.  I also discovered a little loop in my putting stroke which needs addressed.  You can purchase the Bender Putting Board as well as the MyRoll balls from the Eyeline Golf using this link: Eyeline Golf

Friday, November 8, 2019

Player Development Golf Clinics at GolfATX

Whether you want to learn the game or improve your game, attending my Player Development Clinics will help you be your best!  Clinics are held every other Wednesday and every Saturday at Clay/Kizer GC.  The clinics are open to all adults and the last two Saturday's of each month are reserved for Ladies Only.  Visit or call 512-974-9353 for more information.  I also have each months clinic schedule posted on the upper right side of this page.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Zach Slayton Ties for Second in Bluebonnet Cup

Congratulations to Zach Slayton for his tie for second place in the 29th Annual Bluebonnet Cup in Austin, TX.  This was a very strong field and Zach shot rounds of 71-70 and was only one shot out of first place.  He is now headed to Colorado Christian University to play is collegiate golf.

Very solid golf swing!

Nice Playing Mason Richter!

Congratulations to Mason Richter for his second place finish in the Texas Junior Golf Tour.  The event was hosted at Grey Rock Golf Club on August 12 & 13, 2019 in Austin.  He shot rounds of 71-74 and was 8 shots ahead of the next competitor!

Mason is in his senior year at Gonzales High School in Gonzales, TX, and I look for more great golf  for this outstanding young man!  Way to go Mason!

This golf swing is as simple and powerful.

Friday, July 5, 2019

"The" Place for Rare, Classic and Premium Putters

If you are looking for the best rare, classic or premium putters, then Original Glory Golf is the site to visit!  Owned by avid golfer and gentleman of the game, Korye Logan, I am sure you will enjoy visiting his site(s) and viewing his vast collection.

Follow are some samples of his collection:

These are links to his complete collection:

Crazy...but I Made my Second Ace in Three Months!

I have never made back to back aces this quick but I made my eighth career hole in one on June 16, 2019, three months after making my seventh!

I aced the par 3, 115 yard, 12th hole at Riverplace CC in Austin.  I used my 54 degree Cleveland RTX 4 wedge that hit about 6' behind the hole and spun back in the hole.

Thanks again to Srixon/Cleveland Golf!

Career Aces

1975     Morris Williams Golf Course, Austin, TX
1982     Shady Oaks Country Club, Ft. Worth, TX
1988     Amelia Island Golf Club, Amelia Island, FL
2005     High Meadow Ranch Golf Club, Magnolia, TX   (Competition)
2011     Dominion Country Club, San Antonio, TX  (Competition)
2018     Silverhorn Golf Club, San Antonio, TX  (Competition)
2019     (March) Riverplace Country Club, Austin, TX
2019     (June) Riverplace Country Club, Austin, TX

Friday, June 21, 2019

What a Difference 40 Years Makes!

In 1979 I was an assistant golf professional at Horseshoe Bay Resort and Country Club.   While playing the 9th hole (Slick Rock Course) with one of my fellow assistants, my tee shot ended up in this position.  He thought it was quite humorous and snapped this picture.  This was just a simple reach between the trees 9 iron shot that made it on the green.  

This week while competing in a STPGA Senior Series tournament at Horseshoe Bay, I tried to recreate the famous shot.  It just wasn't going to happen.

 Forty years makes a difference indeed!  

I am writing this with sadness however, as Sharon Putt, the wife of Bob Putt, my first mentor and former head professional at Horseshoe Bay, passed away this week.  I have many great memories of my time spent there learning the golf business from one of the best golf professionals in the industry and Sharon was a huge part of that experience too.  

Monday, March 18, 2019

Wow...Another Hole in One!

I scored my 7th career hole in one on March 17, 2019 (Lucky me on St. Patrick's Day)!
My last hole in one was in August, 2018.

I hit a five iron on the 187 yard, 16th hole at Riverplace Country Club in Austin, TX.

Thank you Srixon Z785 irons and Srixon Z Star ball!

Career Aces

1975    Morris Williams GC, Austin, TX
1982    Shady Oaks Country Club, Fort Worth, TX
1988   Amelia Island Golf Club, Amelia Island, FL
2005   High Meadow Ranch Golf Club, Magnolia, TX - competition
2011   Dominion Country Club, San Antonio, TX - competition
2018   Silverhorn Golf Club, San Antonio, TX - competition
2019   Riverplace Country Club, Austin, TX

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Congrats to Matthew Shuler!

Congratulations to Matthew Shuler from Eagle Pass, TX, for signing to play his collegiate golf at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, CA.  This fall will the first year of the men's golf program and I know Matthew will be a great influence for the team.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Mach 3 Speed Check with Wes Short Jr.

I introduced Mach 3 Speed Training to fellow Austinite, Wes Short Jr. this week.   Wes is a former PGA TOUR winner and current PGA TOUR Champions member.  In 2018, Wes finished 21st on the money list.

By no means am I his instructor, nor do I take any credit for his success.  I just wanted to demonstrate to him my new speed training program which I am now conducting.

The first step in the speed training is to perform a speed check with the driver.  The average swing speed of the first five drives was 108.4 mph with the fastest being 110 mph.  After the speed check we immediately perform the four step protocol with the Jet Stick.  This is a picture of me with the Jet Stick.

The Jet Stick is a simple tool and consists of a shaft with a ball and chain inserted in the bottom of the shaft.  It is not heavy, but when you swing it correctly you hear the swish of the ball and chain whizzing through the air.  The swish should be heard on the target side of the golf ball.

In most circumstances when a player performs the Jet Stick protocols, there is an increase in speed within 5 minutes.  Once you pick up this additional speed, you do not lose it.  As you can see, on the next five drives, Wes increased his clubhead speed to an average of 111.6 mph and his high was 113 mph.  

After swinging the Jet Stick we used many other tools which when used on a frequent basis help develop a very athletic swing and more clubhead speed.  This is Wes swinging the Black Mamba which helps with loading on the backswing and exploding to the finish.


In 2018, Wes was 7th on the Champions Tour in driving distance with an average of 293.4 yards. 
For every mile per hour you increase your speed, there is an additional 2.5-3 yards of carry. 

There is an earlier post with the training tools I use in the Mach 3 Speed Training program.  Keep in mind speed training will help all golfers regardless of current ability.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Nice Tournament for Eston Duff!

Congratulations to Eston Duff for his nice finish in the STPGA Prestige Premier junior event.  Eston finished third in the Boys 13-14 age division and tied for 4th overall out of 41 players.

The event was hosted at the Gary Player Course in The Woodlands, TX.  The Player Course is a great test of golf and requires accurate drives and laser iron play.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Jackie Burke, a Texas Legend

I found this article in the Houston Chronicle and thought all would enjoy reading.  I met Jackie Burke many times while serving as the head professional at the TPC at the Woodlands.  I also was fortunate to assist with a golf clinic he and Ben Crenshaw conducted for a good friend of mine, former PGA TOUR and Champions TOUR player, Terry Dill.  During that clinic I witnessed everything which was mentioned about him in this article.  He was witty and you were never sure what was going to come out of his mouth but he was very entertaining and informative.  One of the simplest comments he made in the clinic was "we didn't have yardage books in my day on tour, we just figured what club we could hit over the green and hit one less"!  

Enjoy the article.

It's a gorgeous Texas winter morning — just cool enough to remind you it's January; just warm enough to tempt you to head to the golf course for a leisurely 18.

Jackie Burke has already made his morning rounds, checking in with the pro shop and office. Just down the hall from his office, crews are giving the clubhouse an early 2019 cleaning. Outside, the parking lot is filling up and members are heading to the first tee.

Burke will turn 96 in a few weeks, but he rarely misses a morning at the office. He and Jimmy Demaret built Champions Golf Club back in the late 1950s when Jack Rabbit Road was the Road to Nowhere and the land around the iconic golf course wasn't houses, but rather cattle fields and farms.
Folks thought they were crazy to build out there at that time, let alone build a golf-only club with two courses. What they were was prescient.

"There were nothing but ranches and farms and they used to call this game cow pasture pool,'' Burke said, chuckling. "Some of them had golf clubs and they'd just be just watching their cows and hitting a few balls.''

Sixty years later, the course — like Burke — has stood the test of time. The club and the championship Cypress Creek course is but one piece of an incredible legacy Burke continues to build on daily.

A Hall of Fame player. A teacher. A wise counsel. A businessman. A true keeper of the game.
A member of the 2019 Class of the Houston Sports Hall of Fame.

Life with Jackie is never dull. There's always an opinion or two teed up and ready to roll off his tongue. He's part philosopher, part teacher, part gruff uncle with a heart of gold and a few words that you don't want to hear, but he tosses out anyway because knows you need to hear them.
He's slowed down a bit — and even mellowed a tad — but he can still remind you that you can't get lost on a straight road, toss out a one-liner or needle the keepers of the game by saying he wouldn't dare leave the flagstick in the hole when he was putting on the green.
And when you ask him about being inducted into yet another Hall of Fame?
"As you play, the Hall of Fame is not exactly on your mind,'' he said. "The next 7-iron shot is.''
Burke has influenced four generations of players at Champions — and one more generation when you consider those he taught up east in his early days. So, it's no wonder that you saw people from all ages turn out last month when Harris County–Houston Sports Authority CEO Janis Burke (no relation) and her merry band ambushed him on the Champions putting green to tell him they were honoring him — along with other class of 2019 inductees A.J. Foyt, George Foreman and Dan Pastorini — at the Houston Sports Awards February 6 at the Hilton Americas.

Champions member Robert Scardino had — under pretense — been bothering him about a putting lesson and pulled him out onto the green. "There were a lot of people out there and then a lot more showed up,'' Burke said." I didn't have a clue. I was surprised.''

In many ways, Burke is a reflection of his father, Jack Sr., who brought the true game to Houston in the 1920s when he was the pro at River Oaks Country Club. He was — like so many of his era — a clubmaker as well as a teacher who built the original Donald Ross course at RO, hired Demaret as an assistant, and taught not just a swing, but the game. He even tried to bring major events to River Oaks, but the time wasn't right.
"It was just a little early for the state of Texas,'' Burke said.
By the '60s, the timing was perfect.

A decade after Champions was founded, the course held the 1967 Ryder Cup. Two years later, it played host to the 1969 U.S. Open. He and Demaret had taken the best ideas they saw at clubs around the country and blended them into Champions where golf wasn't just a social gathering, but life.
"That was the beginning of Champions stepping into national spotlight,'' Burke said. "We gave them a golf course that was capable of handling a major event.''

A decade later, the course hosted the TOUR Championship for several years then the 1993 U.S. Amateur followed by other USGA events. Next year, it will host the 2020 U.S. Women's Open — the crown of all the women's majors.
"He had the vision in 1957 to build a golf course that would last," said Burke's' wife Robin, a nine-time Houston Women's City Champion and elite amateur. "The game hasn't outgrown this course. The course is still relevant.''

So is Burke. Over the years, a long line of PGA Tour players has stopped by for a short game lesson or two. Or a little common sense. A Hall of Fame player, Burke won both the Masters and PGA in 1956 and had 19 professional wins total.

His lessons are simple and to the point like "first things first." But the core swing teachings are based on the four Ts — tension, timing, temp and trust. "The way to play,'' he said, "is to go to the first tee and not have a lot on your mind.''

"I took a lot from my dad. He was the one who invented the rubber grip so he as always on to something. Our dinner table had Jack Grout, Babe Zaharias, and many, many good players around it. And taught people like Harvey Penick.''

Another part of Burke's legacy? That would be another prescient moment when, in 1978, he and Demaret turned visionary once again, creating the Legends of Golf tournament — an event that launched what is now a thriving Champions TOUR.

Demaret passed away in 1983, but Burke continued to run the club in the same way and with the same vision.

In the 1950s, he said, "They were building clubs, but weren't building the game with it's rules and having young kids learning the game and the rule book.''

Today, 300 of the club's 800 members have single-digit handicaps and some of the best young players in the game — players like UT's Cole Hammer and Texas A&M's Walker Lee — have junior memberships so they can play against some of the best amateurs in the city.

Burke grew up listening to some of the great storytellers in the game and played with a few too. Today's he's the one telling the tales and weaving them through lessons. He's slowing down and Robin is overseeing the club, but Burke is still there pushing forward.

Both hope the 2020 Women's Open will be a springboard to even more major events — maybe even a U.S. Open, a PGA Championship, another Ryder Cup or a Solheim Cup.
"I think because of the reputation Jack's built and the membership that's willing to do that to continue to bring championships to this club,'' Robin said. "Obviously a men's Open would be incredible. So would a PGA.

"I think it's do-able. What's the next one going to be? I don't know. But we're definitely going to get something on the calendar as soon as we can.''
Burke agreed. He thought anything was possible in 1957 and anything is still possible all these decades later.

He's looking forward to taking his place in the Hall of Fame next month as well as meeting Foreman and Foyt. He knows Pastorini.

But between now and then, he has a 96th birthday to celebrate. And the party? Of course, it will be at Champions with the members, who are really his extended family. And it'll be on Chicken Night — his favorite night of the week.

And Burke? He'll be smiling and telling stories. And giving to a few lessons too.
Some things never change.
Melanie Hauser, a former sportswriter for the Houston Post, writes a weekly column sponsored by the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Mach 3 Speed Training

FACT:  Faster club head speed causes longer drives!!

Do you feel the need for speed in your golf swing?  If so, then Mach 3 Speed Training is perfect for you.  In fact, it is beneficial to all golfers!

Mach 3 Speed Training will not only help you learn to swing the club faster in the correct place, it will improve your overall swing motion, stability and strength.  After establishing you current club head speed, you will quickly learn your potential to develop more speed.  In fact, after using the first training tool (Jet Stick) you may see an increase in speed.

After the initial speed check, I will introduce all the Mach 3 training tools which will be used over the next few sessions.  Below is a picture with just a few of the tools designed to improve your swing speed.

I have found swinging these tools is not only fun, but so beneficial.  The initial Mach 3 Speed Training will consist of ten, 30 minute sessions which can be divided into a combination of swing and speed training.

Let me know when you are ready for more speed in your swing.