Matthew Wolff winning his first PGA Tour title on Sunday is great for golf.
Not only did a 20-year-old win within a month of turning pro, his swing again dispells any myth of how to hit a golf ball.
I love watching him play and how he goes about his business.
The hitch he has is something you would never teach.
His loop is something you would never teach.
Yet, he just shot -21 by making eagle on the 72nd hole to change his life for the next two years. Not only did he get an exemption on Tour, but he can now set his calendar any way he chooses, circling dates for the four majors, The Players Championship and probably Jack’s and Arnie’s tournaments.
While swing gurus talk about the slot and the swing and the arm extension and the hip turn and the shoulder turn and all that other stuff, all that really matters in the golf swing is two feet — a foot before the ball and a foot after it.
Twenty-four inches determines where the ball will go.
Where your club sits at the top of the backswing means little.
How you start the swing means little.
How you finish your swing means very little.
What matters is those 24 inches.
The PGA Tour has been littered with guys throughout time with swings no one would ever teach.
Just to name a few — Miller Barber, Jim Thorpe, Lee Trevino, Chi Chi Rodriguez, Arnold Palmer, Ray Floyd, Bubba Watson, Craig Stadler, Jim Furyk, Mark Calcavecchia, Eamonn Darcy, Calvin Peete, John Daly, Nancy Lopez, Lexi Thompson, Annika Sorenstam, Bruce Lietzke and Hubert Green.
I would ask the junior golfers I taught one of two questions after they played:
1. What did you shoot?
2. How did you play?
Those answers are different and a large majority of the time, they are different.
You can play average and shoot well.
You can play well and shoot average.
You can play terrible, scrape it around, make just about every putt and shoot 66.
You can stripe every drive, hit good irons, make one or two mistakes, never make a putt and shoot 74.
Watch Moe Norman.
He is widely considered one of the best ball strikers ever and I guarantee you his swing is never on the list of which players you should emulate.
Those swings, to name a handful, belong to Sam Snead, Mickey Wright, Ben Hogan, Anne Van Dam, Ernie Els, Fred Couples, Tiger Woods, Adam Scott, Lydia Ko, Justin Rose, Rory McIlroy, So Yeon Ryu and Patty Sheehan.
Furyk was taught by his dad and told him to never allow anyone to change his swing.
Imagine if someone told Sorenstam that “you cannot win anything by moving your head the way you do.”
She retired with 93 professional wins, including 10 majors.
• The amount of ball marks that do not get fixed at golf courses is amazing.
And too many of the ones that get fixed, get fixed the wrong way.
Dear golfers, please stop bringing up the dirt when you fix a ball mark. Please stop lifting the center because grass will not grow when you do that.
Insert your tool on the high side of the ball mark and push toward the center. Push the sides toward the center and tap the surface down.
Also, please walk around the green you are on and fix other ball marks that are present. Well, fix at least one more.
Yes, they should have been fixed, but if you see them and don’t fix them ...
Please, after you have exited a bunker after raking it properly, knock the sand off the bottom of your shoes with the same wedge used for the shot. That way there will be no sand foot prints on the green.
Your group is behind if:
You reach the tee of a par 3 and the group ahead has teed off on the next hole.
You reach the tee of a par 4 and the group in front is on the next tee.
You reach the tee of a par 5 and the group in front is leaving the putting green.
Please, always remember that the game of golf is played directly behind the group in front of you, not directly in front of the group behind you.
• The best part of watching the U.S. Women’s National Team win the World Cup was that they did not care at all who did what.
Carly Lloyd’s role changed drastically from four years ago and, although she wasn’t happy about the move, she put the team above herself.
She could have been a real problem in the locker room, at practice, at media events and during games.
But she wasn’t.
She was a member of the team no matter the role.
Christen Press started for Megan Rapinoe in 2-1 semifinal win over England, scoring the first goal. Press then went back to the bench for the final.
No whining and I bet her parents didn’t track down Coach Jill Ellis asking why she didn’t get more playing time.
Then there’s this whole equal pay thing with the men.
Here are some simple numbers.
The women have won 50 percent of the World Cups played — taking the title in 1991, 1999, 2015 and on Sunday. They were runners-up in 2011.
The men are 0-for-21 with their best finish being third in 1930, the first year it was played. They have missed qualifying for more World Cups (11) than they have played in (10).
I kinda think that equal pay thing is an easy answer — the women should make more.
I also hope they continue to use their platform.