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59 from a 19-year-old? File rounds? Why everybody went LOW this week

Nick Taylor

Nick Taylor hits a shot on Friday on the 4th gap at TPC Scottsdale.

Getty Pictures

LIV Golf’s Joaquin Niemann shoots a 59. Then got here an epic admission — 

‘Largest factor for me’: Wyndham Clark thanks 1 membership change for Pebble file —

After record-breaking 57, Korn Ferry professional makes tantalizing declare —

Aldrich Potgieter shoots 59 at Astara Golf Championship —

Nick Taylor matches course-record 60 at WM Phoenix Open —

What a run of scores that’s been over the previous 5 years!

Joaquin Niemann, on the LIV Golf circuit, behind 10 birdies and one eagle, fired a 12-under 59 on the El Camaleon Golf Course. Wyndham Clark, on the PGA Tour, with 150 ft, 10 inches of putts made on the entrance 9, fired a 12-under 60, a file at famend Pebble Seashore. Cristobal Del Photo voltaic, on the Korn Ferry Tour, fired a 13-under 57 on the Pacos Course at Nation Membership de Bogota in Colombia, and nobody within the historical past of PGA Tour-sanctioned tournaments has gone decrease. Aldrich Potgieter, on the identical event, fired a 59, and the 19-year-old is the youngest ever to go sub-60 in a Tour-backed occasion. Nick Taylor, on the PGA Tour, fired an 11-under 60 in entrance of the rowdies on the WM Phoenix Open. 

[Tapped on shoulder.]

[Told it’s not been over the past five years.]

[Told it’s all happened over this past week.]  

Every week?! Every week. The primary headline got here final Friday, the second final Saturday, the third got here on Thursday, and the final two have been written on Friday. Beginning seven days in the past, a 60-or-better rating has been posted 5 instances throughout the PGA Tour, Korn Ferry Tour and LIV Golf league, and it’s the Oprah Winfrey meme, besides golf — you get a 59, and also you get a 59, and also you get a file, and also you get a file.

Right here, then, is a take a look at how they’re doing it. 

How they’re making one thing that’s fairly uncommon abruptly appear to be a every day factor.

We’ll break it up into some apparent causes and a few bigger-picture causes, the latter with the assistance of somebody who walked side-by-side with Clark final week. 

The apparent the explanation why gamers have shot 60 or higher over the previous week 

Raise, clear and place 

Joaquin Niemann

LIV Golf’s Joaquin Niemann shoots a 59. Then got here an epic admission


Nick Piastowski

All however Niemann’s spherical featured this. The others performed underneath the ‘most well-liked lies’ guidelines choice, or raise, clear and place, which means, sure, if a professional’s ball was within the fairway, they may raise the ball up, clear it after which place it again down inside a membership size of the place it was, however no nearer to the outlet. 

In brief, it’s advantageous, and that’s to not point out that when it’s in play, rain has fallen — and greens are softer. Clark didn’t disagree with the preferred-lies profit, however he had one other thought, too. 

“You realize, anytime there’s most well-liked lies clearly, you realize, it’s — you realize, it’s not the purest — it’s not golf at its purest. However I don’t know in the event you have been out right here or not, however the golf course was so saturated, there was no different approach to play golf this week apart from doing most well-liked lies. 

“With that stated, any winner on the PGA Tour, it doesn’t matter in the event you’re getting most well-liked lies from all over the place or in the event you’re teeing the ball up from the center of the golf green, it’s nonetheless the very best gamers on the planet enjoying in opposition to one another on the identical golf course in the identical situations and it’s onerous. It’s onerous to win out right here, it doesn’t matter the situations.” 

Shorter programs 

The El Camaleon course was 7,116 yards, and Pebble performed to six,972, and TPC Scottsdale, the host of this week’s WM Phoenix Open, is 7,261. Not monsters, however not mice.

The Pacos course, although, measured 6,254 yards.   

Del Photo voltaic instructed GOLF’s Jessica Marksbury that the longest membership he had right into a inexperienced was a 6-iron — on a par-5.

Larger elevation 

The El Camaleon course performs to an elevation of about 30 ft, and Pebble Seashore is 0 ft. TPC Scottsdale is larger — 2,165 ft. Then there’s the Pacos course. 

It sits at 8,612 ft. 

The upper the elevation means the longer the ball flies. There’s additionally a formulation to it. In a splendidly reported story by GOLF’s Jonathan Wall in 2019, Wall wrote this:

“The mathematics appears to match up with a writeup Steven Aoyama, a principal scientist in Titleist’s golf ball R&D division, revealed just a few years in the past that acknowledged distance could be calculated by”multiplying the elevation (in ft) by .00116. For instance, in the event you’re enjoying in Reno, at one mile elevation (5,280 ft) the rise is about six % (5,280 x .00116 = 6.1248). For those who usually drive the ball 250 yards at sea degree, you’ll seemingly drive it 265 yards in Reno.”

Wyndham Clark, John Ellis

‘Largest factor for me’: Wyndham Clark thanks 1 membership change for Pebble file


Nick Piastowski

Utilizing that data, a ball that goes 250 yards at sea degree goes about 275 yards on the Pacos course, due to a virtually 10 % bump (9.98). 

They’re good 

Execs are good, too. We’ll get to this extra in a sec.

The thought can also be a segue to the bigger-picture the explanation why gamers have shot 60 or decrease over the previous week.

The larger-picture the explanation why gamers have shot 60 or decrease over the previous week  

Occupied with this story, I texted Mark Immelman. As an analyst for CBS, he walked alongside Clark final week. As an teacher, he understands the golf swing. 

We ended up speaking for quarter-hour on Friday afternoon. Under is part of that dialog. 

‘Mindset pushed’

Immelman had three ideas. 

“First off, the mindset of those guys,” he stated. “You realize, I discover yearly there’s sure locations you go to the place you realize par is an efficient rating. Like Bay Hill, or a U.S. Open, or sure main championships. When the situations are set a sure method the place gamers understand par is nice, and in the event you enterprise into the 60s, you performed very nicely. However then there are different occasions the place they’re like, OK, that is open season. And with Signature Occasions and now all of the factors and the cash concerned, you discover gamers going, all I want is one week actually to arrange my total yr, or probably a yr past that. 

“So that they’re like, strike whereas the iron is sizzling. And I used to be following Wyndham Clark final week and this can be a man who started the day five-under, [and] they type of knew that there was an opportunity that there can be 54 holes [because of storms], however they weren’t assured, however he simply received off to a sizzling begin. After which over the second 9, the place the holes are more durable, it wasn’t like he backed off photographs in anyway. He had just a few photographs the place you would see he was mindset pushed, the place he was going after gap places. Now granted, he was enjoying very nicely and making putts, nevertheless it was simply that I used to be struck by how he performed offense on a regular basis. 

“He stands there on the 18th tee, and look, that’s not the best tee shot on the planet, Pebble Seashore, particularly in the event you received a lead and there’s strain on you, and he begins this energy fade shot principally over the water’s edge and smashes it down the golf green. And I used to be like, that is gutsy. So it speaks to mindset. I really feel like when these guys really feel it, it’s like open season and so they simply get the inexperienced mild and so they go.”

Cristobal Del Solar of Chile holds his official scorecard which features his score 57 during the first round of the Astara Golf Championship presented by Mastercard at Country Club de Bogota on February 08, 2024 in Bogota, Colombia.

After record-breaking 57, Korn Ferry professional makes tantalizing declare


Jessica Marksbury

It’s an attention-grabbing thought, that with the Signature Occasions (as Pebble Seashore was) and the pursuit to play them (which the WM Phoenix Open and Korn Ferry occasions assist in), together with a brief season, execs need to play extra aggressively.     

“These days the prize funds are simply so massive, that these guys know, I want only one week,” Immelman stated. “And so after they really feel it, they only go. So it’s actually a mindset shift.”

‘They simply swing away and roll the cube extra typically’

Immelman’s second thought? 

These guys are athletes now. 

“The way in which they play the sport is totally different,” he stated, “and whereas golf was once like defensive in a method, until you have been actually good, these days it’s like, simply get the driving force in your hand — metrics present that the farther down the golf green you hit it, the higher you might be, so they only swing away and roll the cube extra typically. So being athletic, they will hit the ball a good distance, they’re getting brief irons to targets.”

‘Scorching streak’

Yet one more idea:

“After which, at sure locations like this week, at Phoenix with situations being excellent and greens being nice,” Immelman stated, “all you want is a little bit of a sizzling streak. 

“You get some wedges to targets, you attain just a few par-5s in two — I imply, in the event you birdie the par-5s, then you definately received the nucleus for a great spherical and then you definately simply received to select up just a few extra and in the event you get just a few wedges in hand, you realize, they’re getting seems to be inside 15, 20 ft, and on excellent greens, it’s additionally open season in the event you’re feeling it.”

Again to the apparent now. Again to the gamers 

Right here, I requested a query. We’ll finish issues with it. 

Immelman answered, however he needed our alternate within the story, so right here that’s in full.

“There’s the apparent with the course on the Korn Ferry Tour being underneath 6,300 yards, and that it was at a excessive elevation, and so they’re enjoying with raise, clear and place — however that being stated, you continue to need to hit the photographs, these guys are actually good, proper?”

“I want you to jot down this like I want air in my lungs.”

“As a result of look, I received to comply with Wyndham Clark at full flight, and it was majestic, it was one thing to behold. And so I tweet about this, and you bought the standard guys going, shouldn’t depend due to raise, clear and place. And I’m like, folks, you continue to received to make the rating, I don’t care whether or not you’re enjoying the ball up or down. Granted, sure, you’re going to get good lies on a regular basis. However Pebble Seashore, in the event you missed a fairway, it was no cube as a result of it was so lush and so moist, and the tough was punitive. So you continue to need to hit photographs and you continue to received to make putts. …

“There’s at all times two sides to the argument, and whether or not you’re enjoying the ball up, otherwise you’re enjoying the ball at altitude, you continue to need to get the ball within the gap. And that gap is small. For those who’re not enjoying nicely, it seems to be smaller.

“That was my rant.”

We laughed. Yet one more query. 

“The opposite argument, the opposite factor you’ll presumably see is the frequency of it now. Throughout the PGA Tour, the Korn Ferry Tour and the LIV tour, there have been 5 of them in every week. Do you suppose there’s something behind the scores being diminished in any respect? Or is that this what golf is now? Anticipate extra of it.”

“When [Roger] Bannister broke the four-minute mile, then everybody realized it was attainable,” Immelman stated. “And so when 59 began to be shot, after which [Jim] Furyk’s 58, golfers realized that is attainable. 

“However I nonetheless suppose it’s very a lot a perform of the situations. There’s simply sure locations that it’s not on. You continue to have particular rounds and it will likely be 63 or 64. However whenever you get summertime golf on the PGA Tour when you have got summertime storms and the golf course is receptive and the place is sort of a dartboard, if somebody is hitting the ball, they will get attractiveness. And at a Pebble Seashore, which is shorter, you realize, regardless of the tough, in the event you’re hitting the ball, you’re going to get attractiveness. Granted you need to management spin and trajectory a complete higher as a result of these greens have a lot tilt in them, nevertheless it’s the character of the beast. I don’t suppose it’s diminishing the factor. It’s nonetheless 60. And you need to play your behind off to shoot a rating like that.

“They’re not handing the rating out like sweet.”

Nick Piastowski

Nick Piastowski Editor

Nick Piastowski is a Senior Editor at and Golf Journal. In his function, he’s liable for modifying, writing and creating tales throughout the golf house. And when he’s not writing about methods to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native might be enjoying the sport, hitting the ball left, proper and brief, and consuming a chilly beer to clean away his rating. You’ll be able to attain out to him about any of those matters — his tales, his sport or his beers — at



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