Inside The Ropes At The PGA TOUR Wyndham Championship


The Wyndham Championship has recently served as the final PGA Tour stop for players to secure their jobs for the next year.  The top 125 on the FedEx points list after the Wyndham are either in the playoffs or they are fighting for their jobs for the next season through a series of events with those who just missed the automatic promotion from the Tour’s Top 25.  Vaulting into the Top 125 in the final week of the regular season is not an easy proposition for many as collecting enough points in just one week requires a very high finish in the Wyndham in order to get the needed result.

A Walk Inside The Ropes

This week, I had the opportunity to walk and talk with Shawn Stefani during the Wednesday Pro-Am. Stefani was fighting for his proverbial PGA Tour life this week in Greensboro. He entered the week 133rd on the FedEx Cup list and needed an excellent finish at Sedgefield Country Club and some help from others in the field to make the first playoff event at the Barclays.

I was hoping to rub off some good luck onto Shawn as my assigned pro last year was Scott Brown, who turned in a Top 3 finish and had a hole in one on the 3rd hole while playing with Tiger Woods in the final round. I’ll take some credit again here as not only did Stefani turn in a great week with a tie for 14th at 12 under to secure his card and an invite to Bethpage Black this week, but he too matched Brown’s feat from last year in exciting the crowd with a hole-in-one on the 165th on Saturday’s moving day.

Stefani and Brown

Turns out, there is some connection between the two. “Scott’s a great guy, he actually gave me some putting tips a few weeks ago at the Travelers” he recounted. Stefani had been struggling on the greens which had put him behind the eight ball for making the playoffs. Just in the Pro-Am contest alone, Stefani made several clutch par saves from 10+ feet and some impressive birdie putts, so it was clear that something was carrying over from Brown’s suggestions and would parlay itself into the finish Stefani needed this week.

What’s In The Bag: Shawn Stefani

Finally, those of us at home are always wondering what Tour players are gaming in their bags for any giving week. Here’s what Shawn had to say about his equipment:

“I’m not a huge equipment guy like other guys.  I’m not a big tinkerer.  Some guys just want the latest and greatest, but I think I should be able to play with what I’ve got” Stefani stated.  For him and many of us out there, it is a comfort thing.”  In regards to his choice of woods and hybrids, he added, “I love the Adams/Taylormade products.  In my opinion, it’s the best out there.  I mean, it’s just so good.”

Driver:  Taylormade R-11S
3-wood: Taylormade JetSpeed
Hybrid: Adams Red
Irons: Mizuno MP-4 (2-PW)
Wedges: Titleist SM-6

And just to expand on how difficult it is to surge into the Top 125 in the final week, there was only one other player that accomplished that task this past week.  Kyle Stanley, ranked 127th coming into the week, finished T-14th with Stefani, which gave him enough points to jump into the 116th spot and move onto the Barclays.  Both Stefani and Stanley will have their work cut out for them this week as the playoffs will cut down to the Top 100 after this week’s event.

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Don’t Let These Shots Get In Your Way


Majors always showcase how difficult a course can be and how much game you need to have to navigate it. One way to make a course challenging is by making it difficult around the green. This can happen with deep rough or soft/hard sand conditions. Here are 3 scenarios that PGA Tour players will see around the greens during majors.


Deep Rough

Deep rough around a green can be daunting. Especially for amateur players who don’t practice their short game. Thick grass will grab the club as it comes down onto the ball and shut (twist) the clubface. This will de-loft the club and cause a lower trajectory shot more left of the target. To avoid this from happening, try using a high-lofted wedge. One with a square or slightly open clubface works best. Aim to the right of your target with the club (your body will always remain open on shorter shots). Hinge the wrist and maintain as much speed coming down to pop the out of the rough. The golf ball will have more spin than normal. There is a significant amount of grass between the clubface and the ball, so the shot will run more than normal. Another option is to take a lower lofted club and with a short, quick hit down on the ball.  Both of these shots you should play the ball in the back of your stance to provide a descending blow.


Buried In The Bunker (aka The Fried Egg)

We’ve all been there. Your shot ends up in a bunker and it’s plugged into the face, or even worse…the downslope. Often these type of lies occurs when there is a significant amount of sand in the bunker. To play this shot, begin with a slightly open stance to the target. Close down the clubface so that it points to the left of the target as well. Like the shot out of deep rough, a plugged lie in the bunker requires speed and balance. Play the ball slightly forward of the middle in the stance with 60% of your weight on your front foot. To create speed, you’ll need a large backswing with early wrist hinge. This will have the club pointed vertically. On the follow through, drive your trail shoulder (right shoulder for a right-handed player) toward your target. Doing this will insure that the club will be traveling with enough velocity to get the ball out of the bunker.


Wet & Hardpan Sand

Playing in wet sand is difficult and playing in dry packed sand is even tougher. Anyone who has played Pinehurst #2 understands exactly what firm, dry sand is like. For wet sand, you’ll want to think the opposite of a traditional bunker shot. Don’t splash the ball out, rather, pick it clean with just a small bit of sand behind the ball. For longer bunker shots (40 – 50 yards)  a gap wedge or even pitching wedge will work better because of the lower bounce angle. When short sided with a wet bunker lie, a quick wrist hinge is key for generating the proper angle of attack. Open the face and try cut under the ball with an out to in swing path to generate as much spin as possible. Dry firm sand requires even more precision but the same principals can be applied.  Try to hit a half inch behind the ball as steeply as possible.

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The Cobra King Wedges Will Spice Up Your Short Game

Cobra King Wedge

Feel, Precision, and Versatility

These are the words I’d use to describe the Cobra King wedges. These wedges will have you attacking the pin, getting up and down, and making more sand saves due to three different available grinds with faces and grooves that will help you be more precise all around the course while fulfilling all of your shot making needs.

Versatile, Classic, Widelow Grind options

Toe, heel, and trailing edge relief are featured in the “Versatile” grind. This grind benefits those looking to slide the club under the ball.

The “Classic” grind features a progressive width from heel to toe suitable for all swing types.

Finally, the “Widelow” grind features a wide sole with reduced bounce for the digger.

Progressive Milled Grooves and Variable Face Roughness

The new groove design features wider grooves and wider gaping on weaker lofted wedges (56* – 60*). While the stronger lofted wedges (50* – 55*) have narrower, tighter spaced grooves allowing for optimum spin and trajectory. The variable face roughness optimizes surface roughness across the face maximizing spin and control for greater performance around the green.

Notch Technology

A newly designed notch on the trailing edge allows the sole to sit lower to the ground keeping the blade height closer to the ground on square and open faced shots.


The 8620 Carbon Steel head provides exceptional feel while the premium Satin Nickel Chrome plating provides a glare reducing, durable finish.

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