#ThePunchOut:  My split with Lynx, tour dress codes, Top 100 Teachers, “the streak” and more.

January 17, 2018

1.  “Do you feel like your widely publicized split with Lynx Golf has damaged your reputation.” -   @shotsfired3
Like I said in my statement a few days ago, I learned the hard way that for guys at my level, golf is a business.  I’m not naive, I understand that there are times when equipment companies decide to go in a different direction strategically.  I get it.  That’s golf.  What upset me the most was the very public way in which the split was handled.  A near 20 year relationship was snuffed out in a single tweet.  I felt disrespected.  It’s so interesting how short memories are at the corporate level.  Who do they think put their Crystal Cat Chipper on the map?  To add insult to injury, Lynx won’t take back my BlackCat irons and the K-Mart I purchased them at is no longer in business.  So out of necessity I'll continue to play them for the immediate future.  It’s my understanding that Lynx has added several high end names to their stable (Paul Eales and Becky Brewerton to name a few) so I think they are well positioned moving forward and I wish them the best.  I’m a big believer that things happen for a reason.  Predictably,  I’ve already been contacted by multiple companies (most notably BulletGolf and PineMeadow Golf) so I anticipate a potential announcement in the coming weeks.
2.  Dave Pelz just posted a Twitter video on the art of the punch out.  Do you take this as flattery or are you suing for violating intellectual copyright?  @golfnwood
Listen, it’s no secret that I’ve had an ongoing feud with these so called “Top 100” instructors.  These guys will literally do anything to keep deserving teachers like me out of their exclusive “club” and Pelz is a prime example.  We’re talking about a guy that charges $3,000 for a 2-day clinic and all he tells you to do is swing the putter from your shoulder sockets.  Are you kidding me?  I find it interesting that most of these guys (Haney, Breed, Kostis, Martin Hall etc) follow me on Twitter.  Why is that?  Are they interested in the results of our Friday evening men’s league?  I think not. They’re clearly trolling for tips that they can pass off to their student’s as their own.  So to answer your question:  Yes, I take it as flattery and hope that one day Golf Digest, GOLF Magazine and their ilk will acknowledge the contributions I've made to teaching.
3.  What day are you taking off for 2018?  @TPeterson89ag
I’m off on Thursday, February 8th and will be in Branson the entire day enjoying my timeshare.  If you or anyone else is interested, weather permitting I’ll be looking for a game.  DM me.
4.  I see Nautica is an up and coming brand in the golf apparel game.  Do you carry it in your shop?  @johnnybegzos
Nobody is going to sit here and deny that Nautica isn’t an incredible high end lifestyle brand.  Word in the “biz” is that it's probably the next big thing in golf apparel.  However, part of my job as a merchandiser is to think about the wants and needs of my members.  The big question for me is…... can they afford it?  Don’t get me wrong, we have some extremely wealthy members at our club.  Several of them recently went on one of those 4-day Sandals all inclusive trips, so we’re obviously dealing with people of discerning tastes.  That being said, we’re not Cypress Point or Pine Valley.  Consequently, these ultra high end brands like Nautica, Cutter & Buck, Walter Hagen, Greg Norman, and Nancy Lopez Plus Size Apparel may be cost prohibitive for our club.  That’s why I continue to stick with Tobasco Chiliwear.  It gives my members a dependable fashion forward look at an affordable price.
5.  When on tour, what did you look for in a hotel for amenities?  @sinenasoup
It’s funny, young players today don’t realize that before the advent of the internet, guys like me were forced to pay $15.99 for an adult movie in a hotel room.  So obviously, this made the cost of commercial lodging cost prohibitive.  Luckily, my caddy Ernesto had a network of friends in many of the tour stop locales we visited so I was able to stay with host families on occasion.  Once Ernesto left me, my second wife Brandi and I spent several seasons living full time out of the back of our PT Cruiser (that we were upside down on).  Looking back, I think these difficult living conditions is what contributed to my poor play late in my career.  
6.  What’s the key to trusting the double-cross? @jjkilleentcu
BALLS.  Plain and simple.  Listen, it takes a special kind of player to aim dead right and play a fade.  I was somehow able to condition my brain to believe that I was aiming at a lush fairway even though I was setting up to send one over the club parking lot.  This thought would somehow trigger a nasty double cross that would routinely leave me in the fairway or left rough.  It’s something that I hesitate to teach to my students due to the degree of difficulty but it certainly works for me.
7. What was the dress code like on the Mexican Mini-Tour? @asetgolf72
Respectful to the game, but maybe not as strict as what you're used to seeing on the PGA Tour.  Back then, most of the exempt players had a blanket sponsorship deal with Lee Dungaree's Mexico City Branch, so denim carpenter shorts were obviously huge.  Basically, anything denim with a hammer loop would move the needle as far as fashion was concerned.  Some of the bigger name players wore Z Cavaricci pants sans the belt, which was a killer look.  Tank tops were commonplace but the Tour’s Player Advisory Council required that the nipples be covered at all times, which is a bit old school but something I happened to agree with.  Early in my career, anything mesh was big.  
As for me, I would typically wear any pant that provided the maximum number of pleats and was starched to the point where squatting down to read a putt was a struggle.  In addition to that, I had two Aureus shirts that were on a Thursday/Friday rotation adorned with my West El Paso Nevada Bob’s logo on the chest and both sleeves.
8.  I have a quick tempo, can the 7-4-7 method be simplified to the 11-7?  @oscar_allen
Nick Price asked me that exact same question on Twitter a few months ago and I’ll tell you what I told him…..Absolutely not!  These swing thoughts have been meticulously devised to be recited in order at precise moments during the swing.  Any deviation would be disastrous.  Unfortunately, I think people wanting to take shortcuts on an already proven system is a sign of the times.  Nobody wants to put in the work anymore.  Sad!
9.  Tell us more about about the fitness program you employ to keep in tip-top shape during the cold midwestern winters?  - @ICTREH
I think the key to any successful physical fitness regimen is embracing variation. You can’t do the same thing all the time.  Luckily, i’m still making payments on the Bowflex I bought in 2000 so that’s obviously a key part of my routine.  Other than that I’ve secured some Billy Blanks VHS tapes that a member recently sold me, which could be a game changer.  Also, as a club employee I take advantage of the club gym, which features a full array of Shake Weights as well as a Gazelle.  So I have a ton of options and try to take advantage of all of them because fitness is critical to me.  
10.  How did you hold it together down the stretch during your 8 hole par streak?  @kpedigo
Man, I get that question a lot.  I think it’s safe to say that even more than my 17 total career cuts made, the “streak” (as they now call it) has defined me.  Looking back now, I think I was fortunate because the streak occurred over the course of two different rounds.   I feel like this might have given me a subtle advantage.  It allowed me to decompress mentally and get my head around the rarified air that I was about to embark on.  Once the streak reached six in a row as I parred the opening hole at the Matamoros 4-ball, nobody in my group would even talk to me.  It was surreal.  I made a solid 3-putt par at the par five 2nd hole followed by a nifty up and down at the third to run the streak to 8.  By the time I got to the wide open par four 4th, I could barely feel my extremities.  Sadly, in my attempt to par my 9th in a row I blew one so far right off the tee that there were actually a couple U.S. Border Patrol agents in the vicinity that kindly helped with the unsuccessful ball search.  I’m not saying you ever want a streak to end, but truth be told I was relieved when it was over.

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