Simply The Best

Here’s who we think will be #1 at the end of the 2016 PGA Season
 
This is an exciting time for professional golf. We have a crop of golfers in their 20s who are affable, approachable and possess all the tools to be considered the best golfer in the world, as noted by their Official Golf World Ranking. Here are the players we believe are likely to finish the 2016 PGA season ranked number one. The first three have held the number one position at some point in their career. They are presented in order of their Official Golf World Ranking as of February 7, 2016.
 
Jordan Spieth
 
The current number one, Jordan Spieth, has held this position for 14 consecutive weeks and for a total of 20 weeks. Spieth was voted PGA Player of the Year in 2015, winning the first two majors (The Masters and The U.S. Open) and coming within a shot of a playoff for the Open Championship (British Open). He won five times last year and came in second just as many times. We like the 22-year-old’s chances at remaining number one based on the following superlatives: In 2015, he led all PGA players in scoring average, finished second in number of birdies per round and third in overall strokes gained. He is also absolutely deadly with the putter, making putts from distances near and far.
 
Rory McIlroy
 
Rory McIlroy was the #1 ranked player until he hurt his ankle last year and ended up missing a good portion of the season. He has held the number one spot for a total of 95 weeks and appears to be poised for golf stardom for many years to come. Just look at his statistics for 2014: third in total driving distance with drives of over 310 yards, first in strokes gained tee to green, first in birdie average and first in scoring average. He finished that year as the money leader and is a force to be beckoned with whenever he enters a tournament. With the ankle healed and his personal life in order, we fully expect McIlroy to challenge for the top spot.
 
Jason Day
 
Jason Day could have just as easily been named 2015 Player of the Year. Like Spieth, he won five times, including the PGA Championship, the RBC Canadian Championship and the Barclays. In a two-month stretch, no one was hotter than Day last year. Like McIlroy, Day is long off the tee (313+ yards). He’s also much straighter, hitting nearly 71% of his fairways. This combination is rewarded with a lot of birdies and eagles. As long as he keeps his vertigo under control, there’s no reason why Day can’t reach golf’s pinnacle.
 
Rickie Fowler
 
Don’t let the boyish looks or edgy apparel fool you, Rickie Fowler has game. All he did in 2015 was win The Players Championship, The Scottish Open and the Deutsche Bank Championship. He followed that in 2016 with a win in Abu Dhabi and a heartbreaking second-place finish at the Waste Management Open. He gets a lot out of his small frame, averaging just under 300 yards per drive. Put all of the various aspects of the game that the PGA Tour measures, and Fowler is second overall. We believe he is determined to prove the naysayer who said that he was more style than substance wrong by reaching for the top spot.
 
Henrik Stenson
 
The elder statesman of the group at nearly 40, Henrik Stenson was ranked third in 2013 and second in 2014, so he’s familiar with the pressure and trappings of being tabbed the best player in the world. Another long hitter, Stenson has a steady, unflinching aspect to his game, which was in evidence when he won the FedEx Cup in 2013 and finished in second place in 2014. He also finished in second place five times last year, when he led the field in greens hit in regulation, total driving and total ball striking. The Swede is cool under pressure and his total game will make it easy for him to ascend to the number one ranking.
 
We mentioned that Rory held the number one spot for 95 weeks, which is impressive. However, it pales in comparison to Tiger Woods. He holds the record for the most consecutive weeks at number one (281), as well as the most total weeks in the position at 683. That’s a record we believe will never be beaten.
 
-Par Shooter
 
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It’s How We Roll

You don’t have to join a league to have fun at the bowling alley.
 
League bowling can be a great way to break up the routine, get some exercise, and make friends. But you can enjoy those same benefits without joining a league. And when you’re hitting the lanes just for fun, having a good time is your only concern.
 
On the other hand, joining a league incurs responsibility. For one, you’re obligated to show up at least most of the time. That means for one day a week, you’re tied up for the length of the season. But if you’re bowling for grins, you can do it whenever you’re so inclined and the bowling alley’s open bowling schedule synchs with yours.
 
When I was a wee one on the southside of Chicago, our bowling alleys didn’t even have leagues for kids. But we definitely had a lot of bowling alleys. There were at least three within walking distance of my house. A bunch of us would get together on a Saturday morning and hike up to one of the nearby establishments, and for a couple of bucks we would have a rip-roaring good time. A few of our group (whom I considered wealthy) owned balls and shoes, but that meant they had to carry them to the alley. So while they may have enjoyed a better fit, they were tired by the time we arrived and ripe for the picking.
 
And I do mean picking. While we were playful street urchins, we were also intense. Everyone knew how to keep score, and we’d watch the sheet carefully, just to make sure a competitor didn’t forget how many pins went down.
 
Today, I still make it out to an alley now and then, with my kids or granddaughter. We’re nowhere near as competitive as the gang in the old ‘hood was, but we have a fine time. And the proprietor is always happy to see us, particularly on those days when things might be slow.
 
While bowling in the 1950s didn’t involve anything more than you, the ball and those newfangled automatic pinsetters, today’s bowling alleys usually have a full menu of pub grub and special events, like cosmic bowling with fog machines, disco lights and runway lights. Some even have live music.
 
Of course most offer party arrangements, which can be a great way to celebrate birthdays. And for the little ones, many establishments offer bumper bowling with blocked gutters, ensuring success and plenty of fun.
 
Bowling is a great family activity that’s easy to learn and offers lots of interaction. Only minimal equipment is necessary, and Dunham’s can provide everything you need, including balls, bags and accessories for beginning to intermediate bowlers. Stop by today. A Dunham’s sales associate will be help you choose gear for you and yours.
 
See you at the bowling center!
 
-Lucky Strikes
 
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Lower Your Handicap

With Equipment from Nike and TaylorMade.
 
If the predictions of warmer-than-average temperatures through April are correct, we could well be hitting the links shortly. For many of us, we want to see affirmation that all we have worked on over the winter – hitting range balls in the dome, golf-specific exercises, poring through countless books and magazines and viewing just as many videos – have paid off. This is also a great time to check out new golf equipment, perhaps to overcome a weakness that makes you the par shooter in your foursome. Here’s what’s new and exciting from two of the top brand names in golf.
 
Nike
 
“We have a lot of new products in a lot of categories for the 2016 season,” said Nike’s Chris Coffman.
 
For those looking for a premium golf ball that delivers both excellent distance off the tee and optimal spin around the green, Coffman suggests checking out Nike’s RZN Tour line. It’s available in Platinum or Black and it’s ideal for those with moderate to high swing speeds. These tour-level balls are designed with Speedlock Technology that optimizes energy transfer for faster ball speed and longer drives.
 
The main difference between the two is that the Black line spins a little less. If you want your ball to check more quickly when it hits the green, go with the RZN Platinum. Conversely, if you want it to roll a little more, go with the RZN Black.
 
“Tour players are raving about how soft and long the RZN Tour golf balls are. It’s a heck of a product that will likely win majors,” he added.
 
Other golf balls worth checking out from Nike include the RZN Speed, the Hyperflight and the Crush. Dunham’s Sports and Nike are partnering on a special promotion this spring, enabling you to stock up on Hyperflight and Crush golf balls without breaking the bank. Be sure to check them out.
 
The other hot news from Nike this year is their new Vapor Fly line of drivers. It features distinctive Photo Blue finish.
 
“These drivers deliver a higher launch angle for maximum carry and reduced weight in the crown for higher ball speeds. It’s even more forgiving than our Vapor Speed drivers. Brooks Koepka and Tony Finau are bombing these drivers,” Coffman said.
 
Three options are available: the Vapor Fly delivers maximum launch angle, the Vapor Fly Pro delivers a little less spin for greater distance and the Vapor Flex 440 allows you to fine tune it to your desired ball flight.
 
TaylorMade
 
Hot on the heels of its M1 driver, TaylorMade just launched the M2 driver. They feature similar construction, including an ultralight carbon composite crown. Any time you see a PGA or LPGA professional tee up a driver with the black and white paint scheme, you know it’s either an M1 or M2.
 
“With the M1 and M2, we wanted to tell a family story. You can tell right away that they belong in the same family. We like to say that M1 is about personalization and M2 is about maximization,” said TaylorMade’s Jeff Nielander.
 
The M1 personalization is evident in the ability to alter launch angles, ball flight and loft. If you like to customize a club to your particular specifications, this is the driver for you. On the other hand, if you don’t need or want to adjust anything other than loft, the M2 is definitely fit for your game. I had an opportunity to try it at my local Dunham’s and was pleasantly surprised to discover it could deliver an extra 15 yards compared to my current driver.
 
“Both drivers feature a highly aerodynamic design and low center of gravity for maximum club head speed and carry distance. Both are also offered with a choice of over 30 shafts with no upcharge,” Nielander added.
 
I plan on comparing the new M2 irons to my current set as well. They promise more distance and a higher launch angle, ensuring more greens in regulation. On my wish list for Father’s Day is a new 3-wood. Mine is 9-10 years old and technology has advanced a great deal since then.
 
“The M2 fairway wood is the best TaylorMade fairway wood ever. It’s even better than RocketBallz fairway woods and those were pretty good,” Nielander added.
 
Like the driver, the M2 fairway woods feature the carbon crown that reminds one of the accent pieces found on many sports cars. They also feature a speed pocket for dramatic, driver-like distance and a shallow head design to make it easier to power through the rough.
 
Conclusion
 
If you are looking to lower your handicap, I strongly recommend the equipment mentioned in this article. From the high handicappers to the scratch golfers, there’s something for everyone. Be sure to speak with a knowledgeable Dunham’s Sports sales professional to ensure the equipment is ideally suited to your golf skills.
 
Nick Lico has dual passions: writing and golf. An avid player for 30+ years, he has spent the last seven years teaching golf at various after-school programs in Metro Detroit.
 
-Par Shooter
 
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