Rickie started slow, finished FAST. Justin started faster, and came back to the pack. We learn about Bubba’s new putting stroke and who his new putting pal is (we didn’t say coach, Bubba makes it clear he has no coaches). Brandon Grace throws a 64 down with a hole-in-one, using an 8 iron from 193. No, that is not a typo, 193 yards!!! Waste Management Phoenix Open is a Zero Waste tournament. What in the world does that mean? And if you didn’t see the Video with Gary Woodland and Amy Bockerstette, a Special Olympics athlete. IT IS SO GOOD. It is the best golf video of 2019, and it won’t be beat. Gary Woodland is a stud. I have wanted it a bunch, I can’t get enough of it. Check out the link below.

#WMPhonenixOpen #GaryWoodland #pgatour #SpecialOlympics #dataaxisgolf


Listen to the full episode here:


Bubba and Bryson and Justin and Ricky and Brandon Wow, what a day at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Let’s tee it up.

Welcome to Data Axis Golf. Your home for rapid golf improvement. And now from the thin air of the Rocky Mountains. Next on the number one tee, your host Aaron Stewart.

Everyone, welcome to another episode of Data Axis Golf, the podcast. Thank you for being here. Another great day at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Some really cool golf. Kind of a weird day, right? I mean, Brandon Grace goes out there. He has an amazing day. We saw three 64s yesterday. It has a hole in one, which was pretty impressive especially if you see the dialogue between his caddy and Brandon. And the caddy was like, “hey you know it was 193 yards out. And the caddy says, “hey I think it’s just flushed eight iron. And I thought, “my word it would have to be downwind, downhill and a fairway made of asphalt for me to get an eight iron ago 193 yards but that’s what Brandon Grace was able to do and then put it right in. So at least for part of the day, he was leaning but it looks like Ricky and Justin have come roaring back up pretty fascinating.


Justin & Ricky


Justin looked like he was way out ahead and was going to kind of lack Ricky a little bit. And then Ricky kind of caught on fire there and the last little bit and that’s been unbelievable, right? Birdies look 12, birdies 15, birdies, 16, which the crowd must have been right at this time of day. Whoo, sheets to the wind there. So they must have enjoyed that. And then a birdie on 17, and he’s playing 18 right now and he’s in the short stuff. So, we’ll see how that turns out for him. But it looked like Ricky was basically sleepwalking through this round missing a lot of putts. He’s playing okay but missing a lot of putts. He putts himself out of position a few times but fought back and now here he sits with an opportunity to take the lead. So really impressive play for sure. For sure.


Bubba & Bryson


Yes, some of the most interesting things coming out of the round today. I thought some of the comments you’ve seen that sort of Bubba Watson coming back out and playing a little bit better. He is putting differently and so when I did a little research and found an article on golf.com talking about how he is actually discussing the putting stroke with Bryson DeChambeau, which is the oddest couple in modern-day golf, right? Bubba Watson who is kind of a homegrown swing kind of a guy, never really had a teacher. He just sorts of watch everybody else and then just lets it fly. He can curve these golf balls that are supposed to curve like nobody’s business and just a very natural feel player and one of my favorites, obviously. He’s the guy that I watched when I went septic and was in the hospital on death’s door. If it wasn’t for Bubba Watson winning the Masters that one night, I don’t know if I’m still sitting here. So Bubba Watson, a very entertaining player. He’s very interesting and for me to hear that he has been implementing Bryson DeChambeau’s putting stroke and we know we remember that Bryce and kind of went through a few iterations of a putting stroke there for a while. He’s trying to find one that worked for him and one thing that we know about Bryson is he had a lot of technology and feedback in order for him to determine what stroke was best in putting on a really good stroke. My caution I guess for Baba would be just because it works for Bryson doesn’t mean that it’s going to work for Baba. Baba is a very different player so I don’t know if Baba is going to take the time nor if so I know that if he embraces technology at all, to check to see if this method actually is the best method for him and his putting stroke which can get a little loose at a time. So obviously, you know, positioning the club up against his forearm would be helpful when you have a loose stroke like that. And based on his comments, he said it feels really really solid from 15 feet in but he had a few three putts that he blamed on just kind of feeling uncomfortable with the lag putting. So the feel from that anytime you take your hands out of it, you lose a little feel. There’s just a lot of feeling you use your hands and depending on what you’re trying to do, that may or may not be a good thing. So it would be interesting to see how that goes. And I read that they have planned to kind of get together at Riviera to have a little putting lesson. So it’d be interesting to see if Bryson can strap on some of this technology to Baba. I don’t know if he would ever really even allow that. So that would be an interesting situation for sure. But very, very cool.


Zero Waste


And then one of the things that I found interesting, they always talk about the Waste Management Phoenix Open as being a zero waste tournament. You know the greenest tournament on tour or something like that. And so I wanted to sort of figure out what they meant by zero waste. I hear it, I get it right you hear that it’s about essentially zero waste means nothing goes to the landfill. And so how they do that is they’ve got those recycle bins all over. You’ve got half for the paper and plastic. You’ve got half for whatever, I guess, goes into compost, and they recycle everything. So essentially, nothing goes to the landfill. And that’s the big goal on the sort of zero waste. I thought to myself, well it’s impressive. I mean, we, as golfers, we love the environment, we love to be out. And a lot of what golf course superintendents have done and agronomists, have done over the years is figure out ways to create grasses that are still excellent surfaces to play on but need less water, which is great, need less fertilizer, also great, right? When we’re talking about, you know, downstream. So all of that’s really cool. So the concept of this zero waste is important for the golfers. I’m surprised that the Waste Management Open is the largest event that is zero waste. So obviously some congratulations to them for figuring that all out. And it’s obviously a huge undertaking for everybody that’s there, especially because this is the largest attended tournament on tour as well. They just have over 200,000 visitors watching this tournament. But over the course of the years, they’re up now for another 10 years, I guess they’ve been Zero Waste for the last seven years. And essentially they have processed or recycled or made sure that 6.4 million pounds of what would normally go into the landfill and it’s hard to get our minds around what 6.4 million pounds are, but it’s a lot. We can agree that a lot. It has not gone to the landfill, which I think needs to be applauded. I think that we should be good to the environment whenever we can. And I think the waste management and golf, in general, does an excellent job doing that. We should pat ourselves on the back but this is pretty impressive. It’ll be interesting to see if more tournaments down the line don’t do a better job doing this. So that was kind of one of the things that I learned that I had not learned before about the Waste Management Open. This whole idea of zero waste.


Gary Woodland, Special Olympics


And then the last thing I don’t know if you saw this, but if you’ve got a moment, definitely do it. If you go to the Golf Channel’s website, there’s a story with Gary Woodland. It’s the coolest story. As part of Special Olympics, Gary woodland got together with this little girl named Amy. And brought her out to play the 16th hole with him in the practice round and she hit the ball really nicely. Cute little swing. I had an aunt who has down syndrome. So Special Olympics and Down syndrome is close to my heart. These are such sweet good people. And anyway, yeah, she hits her tee shot into the sand. She blasts a beautiful shot out of the sand that completely, he was playing with Matt Kuchar, completely blew both of them away. And then she just absolutely holds the path. For a par on the 16th hole during the practice round, there was still a lot of folks there watching the practice round. It is the cutest story in golf this year so far, and I’m guessing will be forever and they show that she tweeted out today, thank you to Gary Woodland. Really, really cool. It’s the part of golf that doesn’t get talked about as much as it probably should. How much good golf does for all of these charities and how good these players are to their fans and to groups like the Special Olympics. I think it’s when you have this kind of level of fame and influence to use it like this, Gary woodland just became a superstar my mind to take time to do this. It’s one thing that I’ve loved about Jordan Spieth and how he treats his sister. It’s beautiful to watch. It’s the human element of golf that makes it more special than a lot of the other sports that we participate or watch, you know as entertainment. So really, really cool day. Awesome to be watching this. I hope you’re enjoying it as well. Definitely, we’re going to look into this Bubba Watson thing and figure out what he’s doing. I’m doing a little research right now on that whole stroke to try to understand it and figure out and the benefits of it very soon. But other than that, I feel good Friday. Definitely go and check out that story with Gary Woodland and Amy was really cool. Have a great weekend and remember always better data always means better golf. Thanks.

Thanks for listening to getting that access go with Aaron Stewart’s check us out online at data access golf calm and we’ll see you on the next episode.