Posts Tagged ‘pga-tour’

How to Make a DIY Backyard Putting Green!

Saturday, June 11th, 2011

Well, folks, I’ve moved into my new place that has a “yard” finally.  It’s a small yard but one of the first things I did was to build my own DIY backyard putting green.

I used to work at the golf course so I know a little bit about growing grass but this DIY putting green was just something created out of my head after doing some research online.

There’s a lot of crap information out there telling you that you need a drainage system, well, I think that’s overkill for your backyard.

Instead, you can use some basic stuff to put together a small DIY putting green for about $100.

Of course, my putting green isn’t finished by all means but let me share with you what I did in just 3 hours to make a mini putting green.

Also, I don’t really need a huge putting green, I just need a small putting green so I can practice some short putts 10 feet in, which is what I practice most anyways and the most important putts.

First, you will need to get some putting green grass.  If you live in a hot weather southern area like Texas, you will want to grow some bermuda grass.

If you live in a cold weather area like me near the ocean, you will want to grow some bentgrass.

I personally prefer bentgrass over bermuda because it’s more finer surface to putt on and there’s less grain.  You can still grow some bentgrass in hot areas, perhaps you can put a canopy tent over it so your grass is always under some shade, that could be a solution.

Bentgrass has many different types but the most popular is the Penncross Creeping Bentgrass, which was developed at Penn State in the 50s.  I guess this is the most popular putting green grass used on also major championship golf courses.

Anyways, I ordered 5 pounds of Penncross Creeping Bentgrass off Amazon for $54.99.  Btw, you can’t get bentgrass seeds from retail stores like Home Depot, OSH, or Lowes, the seeds they sell are mostly mix of fescue, bluegrass, and other types of grass.  They will NOT work for your putting green so don’t get them!

Second, I bought some edging for my new mini putting green to block it away from the rest of my lawn as I don’t want other grass/weed growing on my new putting green.  Since I have plans for extending my new putting green later down the line, I bought edging that could be easily lifted off later.   These Fiber Edges are pretty good and what I am using, $37.12 on Amazon.

So, I started digging couple days back, my original idea was to just make a tiny bit of green to replicate it slowly to the rest of my lawn but I decided at last minute to just use the whole edging I bought to make around 6x6x6 green.

I first laid out my edging as shown below and used the stakes it came with to hold it in place.

Next, I wanted to put the edging in first so I dug up the edges and secured my edging.

Next, I started digging up everything and putting the dirt on the sides.  This is my first time actually making a backyard green so I just improvised as I went along.

Next, I was going to filter out all the old grass and weed but that was going to take me all day to do.  Since I was going to lay some weedblocker over, I simply dumped all the old grass back onto the green but making it so the surface is flat.

This particular part of the lawn sits on a big slope so I used the dirt I excavated to re-adjust the slope so I will end up with a relatively flat green with a slight slope.

As you can see from the sideview, I’ve used my edging to add some flatness to my new putting green so it’s not as sloped as the rest of the yard is.

Next, I cut up the rolls of weedblocker and used the weedblocker staples to put them on the new putting green so weed and the old grass won’t grow into my new green.

I bought 3 cubic feet of some garden soil and dumped the whole thing on top.

 

Since I was winging this whole putting green, I used my tennis shoes to pat down on the garden soil to compact it a bit and did lots of swiping with my feet to get everything evenly surfaced.  I am sure you can do better than this but I didn’t want to take another trip to the hardware store at this point, I wanted to finish the job.

But it did end up pretty nice as you can see, it’s pretty even.

Next, I spread the Penncross Creeping Bentgrass seeds all over the garden soil.

For the final finish, I topped it off with a slight layer of sand to keep the seeds from sun burns.

I think the whole thing cost me just over a hundred dollars and I was surprised even at myself for finishing the whole green in just matter of hours.

Some more thoughts.

I intentionally picked the most sloped part of my lawn, since it’s the least used plus water would drain well.  I would try to find a slightly sloped surface to put your backyard putting green since it will drain better plus you need a slight slope to practice different right-to-left and left-to-right putts.  (Why would you practice straight putts only?!?)

I figure that would also save me thousands of dollars or more hours over building a full-out drainage system, just build it on a slope.

With my new putting green, I can practice right-to-left putts, left-to-right putts, straight putts, and downhill/uphill putts.  I can’t practice long putts on it but I am planning for that later down the road.

Cutting the Greens

For true putting, I will eventually need to get a low-cutting mower that is able to cut less than 1/2 inch , which costs over/around $1,000 on average.

Most lawnmowers can really only cut up to about an inch at most but I found this bentgrass mower online that can cut up to 1/2 inch in height.  At 1/2 inch, I might still have a decent green so we will see and perhaps I can hack the bentgrass mower to cut it even lower.

 

Why did I build this green?

Honestly, I’ve always wanted to putt in the comfort of my backyard because it’s such a big part of your golf game.  You can go to your local golf course and practice but it’s not going to be the same with all that foot traffic everyone else dumps on the practice green.  With my own putting green, I won’t blame anyone but myself.

Also, I’ve always wanted to record some putting green HOWTO videos for this blog but I can’t carry my heavy tri-pod and DSLR camera everytime I go to the golf course but this makes it possible for me to do that.

Why did I not get a synthetic green?

I just don’t think synthetic greens are anywhere near real putting greens.  Plus, I love growing grass, it’s one of the most rewarding things to do when you see your seeds grow.

 

Anyways, I will have an updated photo/video of my new putting green in about 10 days when it should have grown fully.

 

 

 

 

 

How to Practice Golf!

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

Today was one of my better practice sessions at my local golf range.   For the first time in 3 years, I paid $5/30 minutes to practice my short game first.  Yes, in San Francisco, you have to usually pay to practice on the greens or your short game.

Anyways, I am sure many of you are city slickers like me trying to wing away your short game while you play on the golf course.  Don’t DO THAT, that will be one of the major reasons why your score never improves.

When I used to live with my parents, it was all FREE, I mean I used to practice my putting, chipping, sand shots, and my pitching shots for FREE at their local country club.   And yes, it’s not been like that anymore but no matter whether you have to pay or not, you NEED to practice your short game at least half the time.

So what?

If you want to lower your golf scores, you need to hit the practice green more often than hitting your irons or driver on the range.  I know, it’s fun, it’s fun to hit that 350 yard drive over the driving range fence or stick a 4-iron 200-yard sniper on the sign itself but in reality, it boils down to your short game.

The only person who might have gotten away without a short game in history of golf?

Maybe Ben Hogan, at his best, he hit like all the greens in regulations.  But trust me, no one can beat Ben Hogan, that is why he is a golfing legend.

The bottom line is, you can be better simply by being better around the greens.  And how many times can I tell you that game of golf is played with the putter and the wedge?   Too many, watch out for more blog posts titled, “how to practice golf” and more words on why you need to practice your short game.

And oh yeah, finally getting back into golf, I haven’t touched a golf club since last August I think, but I will be playing some events this year finally.

Why 99% of Pro Golfers FAIL to Make it to the PGA Tour!

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

During my year-long stint as a mini-tour golfer, I’ve came to realize many things including the reason why 99% of pro golfers out there FAIL to make it to the PGA Tour.

Here’s the top reasons:

1. They run out of money.

2. They don’t have financial back-up to go for a long time.

3. They simply don’t have the talent.

Well, my top 2 reasons are probably the #1 reason why not all of the Top 10 college golf players never even see a day playing at the PGA Tour.  Of course, the lucky ones will have all the money in the world but simply lack the talent to make it to the PGA Tour.  (For example, they try out the PGA Qualifying school and fail 10 years straight.)

For those who have tried and failed, my advice is to move on with better things in life.  As great as life of a pro golfer looks on TV, what you see is only a share of world’s best talent in my opinion.  I have seen many great golfers including amateurs and pros that never make it simply they get caught up with life, that of making a living.

To make a living as a mini-tour golfer, you must practically finish somewhere the Top 30, it doesn’t matter which mini tour you play including Canadian Tour, Hooters Tour, Nationwide Tour, and etc…etc…

So, where do these 99% of others go?  They simply lose desire to play pro golf or get caught up making a living.

If you have kids who want to grow up to be pros on the PGA or LPGA tour, they better have good financial backup.

On average, you probably need at least $50,000 a year just in expenses for golf equipment, practice/playing fees, and competition entry fees.

Pro competition fees can be pretty hefty and unless you make hundred grand from your day job, I don’t think there’s a way for you to play pro golf competitively.

So what?

Just realize that if you are going to play pro golf, you should have a smart financial plan so you can keep going even if your scores don’t make you money.

It’s a whole different ball game than being an amateur because your life is basically on the line.  How well you play determines whether you will eat bread the next day or not.

As for me, I broke my finger and also ran out of money only a year into my mini-tour stint.  I didn’t realize how much money I needed until I started making money with pro golf.

Luckily, after 6 years of jumbling my life and starting my own online blogging business, I am glad I can slowly start back at my dreams again, that of playing competitively with the top pros in the world.

Don’t get me wrong, the pros on the PGA Tour are probably the best of the crop but playing on the PGA Tour is a lot easier if you can keep trying and you have some sponsors to back you up. (and also time to practice/play everyday)

And don’t forget, some even make it to the PGA Tour, win a couple tournaments, then fall into thin air.

That’s simply golf, it’s not so predictable, even if you are the best in the world.

I just wonder, whatever happened to some of those golfers I used to know who were so good? Well, they’ve moved on.  I am not.  Ricky Barnes is one of those who made it btw and I hope Joel Kribel does well soon too, they both got a ton of talent.

Arnold Palmer Invitational Live Update From 18th Hole!

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

Tiger Woods now hitting his 2nd shot on the 18th hole.

Taking a lot of time to prepare…. Tiger hits his 2nd shot pretty darn good, 15 feet from the pin, nice uphill putt left for a birdie and a sure win.

Meanwhile, Sean O’Hair has hit his 2nd shot about 35 feet left and past the pin, a lot harder birdie putt left for him.

Zach Johnson also in the last group, hits his 2nd shot pretty good, 15 feet from the pin but out of luck for winning the tournament as he’s 2 back of Tiger and Sean.

Now, just 3 putts left from the 3 players at the Arnold Palmer Invitational…  updates coming soon so keep refreshing your browser.

Camilo Villegas Wins the Tour Championships!

Sunday, September 28th, 2008

Camilo Villegas wins the Tour Championships to finish the 2008 PGA Tour in style.  What seemed like a bad bogey on 16th hole was recovered with a remarkable birdie on the 17th hole by Camilo.

That makes it 2 wins in the last 2 starts, the last time that someone won 2 consecutive tournaments was over 10 years ago.

What makes it interesting is that Camilo was able to beat all the best players in the world with his A+ game on Sunday yet again.

I feel very sorry for Sergio Garcia, who I believe has more talent but talent and luck must come together on the last day for someone to win.

Make sure to check out our swing analysis on Camilo Villegas too.

DIY – How To Putt Like a Pro!

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008
DIY - How To Putt Like a Pro!

DIY - How To Putt Like a Pro!

Putting is probably the most part of golf as it can break you or make you regardless of how you hit the ball.

A 2-inch putt is worth as much as a 350-yard drive off the tee.  That is why every pro on the PGA Tour can putt really really really good.

Today, I will tell you some simply tips on how to get that ball in the bottom of the cup.

Here’s the tips for today:

1. Alignment, alignment, alignment.  You need to align your putt before you do anything else.

How to align the putter?

Align the putter so that it hits the top of the apex of the putt.

As you can see in my horrible photoshop screenshot, the green line represents the overall break of the putt.

Now, the apex is where the putt start breaking and you need to start your ball there.

2. After aligning “parallel” to your putt, you need to “feel” the speed and rhythm of the putt.  Do not ground your club behind the ball yet.  You need to “feel” and judge the exact speed of the putt.

How to do this?

Really feel that your right hand is doing all the work in the putting and feel the right hand “rolling” the ball.

You need to find the right speed where the golf ball will stop maybe 3-5 inches past the hole.

Of course, this will depend on your putt.  If you have a really fast downhill putt, you want to think of stopping the ball right at the cup.

3. Once you get the feel for the distance and speed of the putt, simply step up to the ball and hit it.  Since you’ve already “aligned” yourself, don’t hesistate too much and repeat your “feel” from the practice stroke.

If you do this, I guarantee you will hole a lot more putts.

Remember, putting is 90% feel and 10% technique.  If your feel is good, you might get away with really bad technique.

Danny Lee becomes the Youngest U.S. Amateur Champion ever!

Monday, August 25th, 2008
Danny Lee becomes the Youngest U.S. Amateur Champion ever!

Danny Lee becomes the Youngest U.S. Amateur Champion ever!

Danny Lee becomes the youngest U.S. Amateur champion in history of golf as he beat Drew Kittleson in style 5 and 4.  He also becomes the very first Korean-born golfer to win the U.S. Amateur.  That means Danny Lee is also the very first pure-breed Asian Asian person to win the U.S. Amateur.

UPDATE: Oops, Danny Lee ISN’t the very first Asian person.  Actually Tiger Woods is the very first Asian.  BTW, Tiger isn’t really black at all, he’s more Thai than anything else.

With Korean ladies taking over the leaderboard in LPGA, Danny Lee is also another one of those players starting the act of taking the PGA Tour along with the young PGA star, Anthony Kim.

Pinehurst, N.C. — Danny Lee became the U.S. Amateur’s youngest champion, supplanting Tiger Woods by holding off Drew Kittleson 5 and 4.

Lee, 18 years and one month old, frittered away most of a six-hole lead before regaining control with consecutive birdies midway through his second trip around Pinehurst’s No. 2 course. He capped his 11th consecutive day of competitive golf by sinking a 30-foot birdie putt on the 14th.

Lee is six months and 29 days younger than Woods was when he won the first of his three Amateurs in 1994.

The victory gives Lee exemptions into the U.S. and British opens, a probable invitation to The Masters and a 10-year exemption into the U.S. Amateur as long as he remains an amateur.

via theglobeandmail

Danny Lee and Drew Kittleson at the Finals of 2008 U.S. Amateur!

Saturday, August 23rd, 2008

I enjoyed watching the two youngsters, Danny Lee and Drew Kittleson battle out their semi-final match-play rounds at the 2008 U.S. Amateur today.

It will be an exciting finish tomorrow as we will see who wins the 2008 U.S. Amateur.  For the record, if Danny Lee wins, he will become the youngest player to ever win the U.S. Amateur.

Overall, I am impressed how well these 18 year olds can play and the winner will probably play the PGA Tour.

My vote goes to Danny Lee this week since he is the #1 ranked amateur in the world currently.

But you never know as the U.S. Amateur is match play and couple birdies can make up a lot.

Who will win the FedEx Cup this year?

Monday, August 18th, 2008
Who will win the FedEx Cup this year?

Who will win the FedEx Cup this year?

With the PGA Tour’s last event and last day yesterday, we are finally going to finalize this year’s PGA Tour with this week’s FedEx Cup challege.

Who will win?  Who’s your favorite picks?  Leave your picks in the comments line.

My vote goes to the young Anthony Kim or Phi Mickelson.

Tiger Woods won’t be holding a golf club until 2009!

Thursday, August 14th, 2008
Tiger Woods won't be holding a golf club until 2009!

Tiger Woods won't be holding a golf club until 2009!

It looks like Tiger Woods won’t be holding a golf club until 2009 folks.  Well, that’s what I expected after all those surgeries but the real bad news is for the PGA Tour sponsors.

With absence of Tiger Woods, TV ratings have dropped over 50% over last year.  That won’t be a big problem for most folks but for people who are sponsoring the tournaments, they are really losing 50% of their ad revenue.

What’s amazing is that a single human being can effect the TV ratings, especially when you consider the other 200 top players in the world.

Yes, most people would like to watch #1 golfer in the world, not #2 or #3.

As for waiting, I am also really tired of watching golf tournaments without Tiger.

My typical thought process when watching a major these days, “If Tiger was playing, he’s probably going to be 3 better than the field, of course leading the tournament”.

I am sure Padraig Harrington will have plenty to worry about when Tiger comes back.  In the meanwhile, he’s free to take all the freebie tournaments as he can.

Excerpt from LA Times:

“As far as swinging a club, that’s not going to happen until next year,” Woods wrote in a blog on tigerwoods.com. “I just don’t have a choice. We simply don’t know what type of swelling there would be or if there would be any residual effects the next day once you start wheeling and dealing on the knee.

Without Woods, the Nielsen ratings for the last two majors were dramatically lower, despite consecutive inspiring victories by Padraig Harrington.

The PGA Championship on CBS had a final-round overnight rating of 3.0, a drop of 55% from last year when Woods won. And the final round of the British Open on ABC had an overnight rating of 3.5, a decrease of 14.6% from last year.

If the Ryder Cup on NBC can’t deliver big numbers, without Woods, it doesn’t bode well for the upcoming FedEx Cup series, in which Woods won $10 million last year.

One thing I realized though, “Tiger Woods is golf, golf is Tiger Woods“.  Without Tiger, there would be no $10 Million in prizes, we might still have boring PGA Tour pros fighting for $1 Million.

At least for the time being that Tiger Woods is breathing, we will get to be part of golf where purses are worth 10 times more than what they should be.