October has been a good month for our staff. The first piece of good news came when Golf Digest Magazine did their annual Best Teachers in the State issue. We have 7 instructors at the academy and all 7 were within the top 35 for the State of California. With the size and population of California, I am very proud of this accomplishment for our staff. The second piece of good news was I was inducted into the California PGA Teachers Hall of fame. It is a great honor to receive this praise from your contemporaries and the PGA. The third item was that Golfweek just ranked Alana Uriell, a student of my son Jason for the past 8 years, as the 8th Best Female Collegiate Golfer in the Country. Our staff is excited about these accomplishments and will continue to work to become better at our craft!
Kip's Corner Archive • Kip Puterbaugh's Aviara Golf Academy
What has been a great year of golf has concluded with Tiger Woods return to tournament golf for the first time in 16 months. As a swing instructor I saw many good things that he has done with his swing. He led the field with 24 birdies but also led the field with double bogey’s. Regardless of his finishing 15th out of 18 players it was great to see him back. I hope it means he will be able to play a complete season in 2017. Hideki Matsuyama won the tournament to finish the year in great fashion, winning four out of his last five events!
With Jordan Spieth winning the Australian Open, Henrik Stenson and Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy having great years, 2017 should be another great year to watch tournament golf.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
What a year of professional golf! After Tiger Woods withdrawal from Safeway Classic it made me think that we do miss Tiger on the Tour, but boy, do we have some great players playing the game right now. As 2016 started it seemed that Jason Day was going to continue winning everything after he won the Players. It seemed impossible that Jordan Spieth would implode on the famed 13 hole of Augusta. They both became more of minor players through the rest of the year in the big events. What emerged was Dustin Johnson. He drove the ball with distance and accuracy never seen before in golf. The USGA tried to derail him at the US Open, but he won a lot of fans in his victory. The Open Championship was golf at its absolute best during the final round showdown between Stenson and Mickelson. The PGA went to Jimmy Walker and it was a popular win among all the tour. Jason Day might have hit the best 2 iron into the last hole in the history of golf. 260 yards uphill to 12 feet. I still haven’t figured that out! The Ryder Cup sealed the year in perfect wrapping paper. I don’t ever remember 3 days of such great golf and for the USA to get the Cup back was awesome. The return of Rory McIlroy with a hot putter and Patrick Reed will go down as one of the greats. Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia also played a match never seen before, both shooting 9 under. So I hope that Tiger can return sometime to competitive golf, but if he doesn’t, the game is in great hands!
For the last nine years we have had the nations most successful TaylorMade Performance Lab. We had the 3D Motion Analysis System designed for TaylorMade, combined with a great staff to get the best fit possible. Starting in Mid April we are opening a new venture where we will be fitting clients with either Callaway, Ping, Titleist or TaylorMade Clubs. To aid in the fit we will be featuring the first Gears Motion Analysis setup in Southern California. The improvements in 3D capture are really remarkable since or first unit was installed 9 years ago. This new technology combined with the choice of multiple product lines will give the customer a greater chance to find clubs that give them maximum performance. Remember, our professional staff has 6 teachers in the Golf Digest survey that finished in the top 30 of the state of California. We are all excited about this new venture and can’t wait to get it up and running.
As the 2016 Season continues, there has been some interesting wins. Jordan wining the Tournament of Champions was quite impressive throughout the entire 4 rounds. Fabian Gomez surprised with some great clutch putting to get into a playoff with Brandt Snedeker. Rack up another victory for the young guys as Fabian won the playoff with Snedeker. Then Jason Dufner showed everybody that when he is on, he is a force. He got an unbelievable break on the 17th hole in regulation to have a swing and shot from all the rocks in the hazard surrounding the water. He went on to victory in a playoff over David Lingmerth. Snedeker then won at San Diego with probably one of the greatest rounds in foul weather in the history of the Tour. How he shot a 69 on Torrey Pines South in the high winds and rain is really amazing. Then Hideki Matsuyama wins in Phoenix in another playoff with Rickie Fowler. My take on this early play of the year is that Rickie won in Dubai, unfortunately hit a driver perfect and hit a down slope in the fairway and spring boarded forward like a shot and went through the green and into the water to make a bogey in Phoenix. Keep you eye on him as the majors approach. Spieth played a few tournaments overseas after the Tournament of Champions win and I hope he doesn’t tire himself out too early in the year. My prediction for the this article is that Phil Mickelson is going to win soon. His ball striking is so much better, as in Phoenix he was 13th in Accuracy, 12th in Distance and 6th in Greens hit in Regulation. The Florida swing starts soon, and before we know it, Augusta will be here. I can’t wait!!
It is 10 days till Christmas and the year 2016 is right around the corner. I hope that you all have a Great Christmas and Santa brings you the opportunity to play a lot of golf for 2016. If you make the decision that you want to play “better golf”, we hope that you will visit us at The Aviara Golf Academy. We are celebrating our 25th Anniversary, and it doesn’t seem possible that we have been here that long. As for the state of the game and my wishes for the year of golf ahead of us, here is my wish list. I hope that Jordan Spieth wins another Major. I would also like Rickie Fowler and Rory McIlroy win a major. That leaves one major open that either Jason Day, Henrik Stenson, Lee Westwood, Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka or Dustin Johnson will win. Check back with me in a year and see how I did!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
The year is drawing to a close with the only major event left being the European Tour’s “Race to Dubai”. It looks like it could get pretty exciting with Rory McIlroy just ahead of Danny Willitt. As the European Tour season draws to a close, the PGA Tour has already started the 2016 year. (Slightly confusing) As I mentioned in my last post, the young players are really doing well, and they have completely dominated the early tournaments. Granted, all the top players are not playing, but that doesn’t mean the wins have been diminished. My player to watch continues to be Justin Thomas, and his win in the CIMB Classic was very impressive. The last item I want to mention is that Phil Mickelson has just fallen out of the Top 25 in the World list. Why is that mentioned? He had been in the Top 25 for 20 and I believe 3 weeks straight. Some might call Mickelson inconsistent, but this fact would have to say that he has been incredibly consistent!
As the tournaments pass in the 2015 season it is now apparent that a new group of young players has taken root, and I don’t think they are going away. Yesterday Chris Kirk got his 4th tour victory and Jordon Spieth was right on his tail 1 stroke behind. 23 year old Byeong An won the BMW Championship at Wentworth, one of the top championships for the European Tour. With McIlroy winning the Match Play and then at Quail Hollow, Spieth’s great win at Augusta, the game is in great hands. Other young players to watch, Justin Thomas, Ben Martin, Kevin Kisner, Daniel Berger and four time winners Patrick Reed and Chris Kirk.
US open is right around the corner! Great time to watch the game.