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Tony Finau’s Rarely Used Secret Weapon

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Finau's Rarely Used Secret Weapon

The relationship between distance and ball speed can vary slightly, but it’s safe to assume that every mile per hour increase in ball speed will net roughly 2 yards of additional carry. Taking those numbers into account, Tony Finau is leaving roughly 52 yards in the tank whenever he tees it up on the PGA Tour.

If math wasn’t your strength in school — join the club — that comes out to 26 mph of ball speed. Ball speed. It’s a number that sounds absolutely preposterous, especially when you consider Finau ranked 28th on Tour last season in ball speed at 177.91 mph. Compared to ball speed leader Cameron Champ (190.94 mph), he’s more than 13 yards off the pace.

While the ball speed average only takes into account valid radar measurements on par 4s and par 5s, it’s safe to say Finau is fast — but he isn’t that fast. Or at least that’s what the numbers say.

According to Ping Tour rep Kenton Oates, Finau has a gear that he rarely if ever shows in competition. While speaking to GOLF’s Fully Equipped podcast, Oates recalled a recent conversation with Finau at the Houston Open about a speed training session he’d gone through recently that netted him a ball speed number few on the planet can produce.

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“I was talking with him on the range [in Houston] and he was hitting a [Ping G425 LST] with 180 mph ball speed,” said Oates. “Then he tells me he was at a speed training session in Utah and got 206 mph ball speed on his 12th ball. It’s insane.

“When he told me he hit 206, I told him, you’re the only guy on tour who leaves 26 mph out there.”

During an interview last year with GOLF’s Subpar, Finau revealed he’d bet on himself in a long drive contest against the likes of Champ, Bryson DeChambeau and Rory McIlroy.

“I do think if you just get us on a driving range and give each of us five golf balls and see who can get it the furthest, I’d have a hard time believing someone can get it further than me,” Finau said. 

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Of course, the Tour isn’t a long drive contest, and Finau is realistic about what it takes to win at the top rung of professional golf. While distance can give you an edge over the competition — look at Bryson’s incredible transformation — losing accuracy and gaining ball speed in the process feels like a zero-sum game.

“I think the reason he continues to stay at 180 to 185 is that he’s so straight off the tee,” Oates said. “Tony’s always been long. I’ve heard stories of him being even longer as a kid — like 215s in ball speed. For him, he became a really good player when he honed it in. In the back of his mind, he knows if he’s at 180 to 185 and only curving it 2 yards, he’s going to be a really, really good player.

“He doesn’t hit it that far offline [at the higher speeds] compared to a normal golfer, but it’s different in PGA Tour terms.”

As one of the most consistent (and longest) drivers of the golf ball on Tour, Tony Finau isn’t hurting for an edge. But if he ever needs to unleash a gargantuan drive, at least he knows he has it in the tank — and then some.

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This article originally appeared on Golf.com.

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The Joy of Golfing with Friends

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Building Bonds on the Fairway

Ahoy, golfing companions! This week, we’re celebrating the unparalleled joy of teeing off with friends – because as any golfer knows, there’s nothing quite like sharing the fairway with your favorite playing partners. So gather your crew, dust off your clubs, and let’s explore the magic of golfing with friends:

1. Shared Laughter, Shared Memories: Golfing with friends isn’t just about hitting the ball – it’s about sharing laughs, swapping stories, and creating memories that last a lifetime. Whether you’re reminiscing about past rounds, joking about missed putts, or simply enjoying each other’s company, the camaraderie of the game is what makes it truly special.

2. Support and Encouragement: One of the greatest benefits of golfing with friends is the support and encouragement they provide. From cheering you on after a great shot to offering words of wisdom when you’re struggling, your playing partners are there to lift you up and help you stay positive, no matter what challenges the course throws your way.

3. Friendly Competition: While golf is ultimately a game against the course, there’s no denying the thrill of a little friendly competition among friends. Whether you’re competing for bragging rights, playing for a friendly wager, or simply trying to outdo each other on the scorecard, the spirit of competition adds an extra layer of excitement to every round.

4. Strengthening Bonds: Golfing with friends isn’t just about the game – it’s about strengthening bonds and deepening friendships. The shared experiences, inside jokes, and moments of triumph and defeat on the course all serve to bring you closer together, forging bonds that are as strong as steel.

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5. Lifelong Companionship: Finally, golfing with friends is about more than just the present moment – it’s about building lifelong companionship that extends far beyond the fairway. Whether you’re celebrating victories, commiserating over defeats, or simply enjoying each other’s company, the friendships forged on the golf course are ones that will endure for years to come.

So there you have it, fellow golfing comrades – the joy of golfing with friends in all its glorious splendor. Whether you’re sharing laughs, supporting each other through the ups and downs, or strengthening bonds that last a lifetime, there’s nothing quite like hitting the links with your favorite playing partners by your side. Until next time, may your rounds be filled with friendship, laughter, and unforgettable memories. Friends on, my fellow golfers!

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The Zen of Golf

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Finding Inner Peace on the Fairway

Greetings, seekers of serenity! This week, we’re delving into the tranquil world of Zen golf – a place where inner peace and harmony reign supreme. So put aside your scorecards, quiet your mind, and let’s explore the art of finding inner peace on the fairway:

1. Embrace the Present Moment: In the fast-paced world of golf, it’s easy to get caught up in thoughts of past mistakes or future challenges. But true Zen golfers know that the only moment that truly matters is the present one. Focus on the here and now – the feel of the club in your hands, the sound of the birds chirping, the gentle sway of the trees – and let everything else fade away.

2. Cultivate Mindfulness: Mindfulness is the cornerstone of Zen golf. By cultivating awareness and presence in each moment, you can elevate your game to new heights. Pay attention to your breath, your body, and the sensations of the game as they arise. Let go of distractions and immerse yourself fully in the experience of golfing.

3. Let Go of Attachments: Zen teaches us the importance of letting go of attachments – to outcomes, to expectations, and to ego. Release the need to control every shot or dictate the outcome of your round. Instead, surrender to the flow of the game and trust in your abilities to guide you towards success.

4. Find Balance in All Things: Balance is key in both golf and life. Just as you strive for balance in your swing, seek balance in your approach to the game. Avoid extremes of emotion – whether it be frustration after a bad shot or elation after a good one – and strive for equanimity in all things.

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5. Practice Gratitude: Finally, cultivate an attitude of gratitude for the game of golf and all the blessings it brings into your life. Whether it’s the camaraderie of playing with friends, the beauty of nature on the course, or the opportunity for personal growth and self-discovery, take a moment to give thanks for the gifts of golf.

So there you have it, fellow seekers – the Zen of golf in all its peaceful glory. With mindfulness, balance, and gratitude as your guides, you can transform your time on the fairway into a meditative journey of self-discovery and enlightenment. Until next time, may your swings be smooth, your putts be true, and your inner peace be unshakeable. Zen on, my friends!

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The Future of Golf

Trends and Technologies Shaping the Sport

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Trends and Technologies Shaping the Sport

Greetings once more, golf lovers,

As we conclude our series “Tales from the Greens: Chronicles of Golf Through the Ages,” we look ahead to what the future may hold for this venerable sport. From technological innovations to changing social dynamics, the world of golf is evolving rapidly. Today, we explore the emerging trends and technologies that are shaping the next generation of golf.


Technological Innovations in Equipment

The ongoing evolution of golf equipment is astounding. With advances in materials science and engineering, golf clubs and balls are becoming ever more sophisticated. Manufacturers now use artificial intelligence to design clubs that optimize both distance and accuracy, catering to golfers’ individual styles. Similarly, golf balls are engineered for increased aerodynamics and fine-tuned performance. These innovations promise to make golf more accessible and enjoyable for players at all levels.

Virtual and Augmented Reality

The digital realm is making its mark on golf through virtual and augmented reality technologies. Virtual reality (VR) golf simulators allow players to experience famous courses from the comfort of their homes, offering a practical solution for training and playing during off-seasons or unfavorable weather conditions. Augmented reality (AR), on the other hand, provides real-time data overlays during play, offering insights into course topography, wind conditions, and more, enhancing both strategy and learning.

Eco-Friendly Practices

As awareness of environmental issues grows, golf is also taking strides towards sustainability. Courses worldwide are adopting eco-friendly practices such as reducing water consumption, using organic products for maintenance, and preserving natural habitats. These efforts not only help protect the environment but also challenge the stereotype of golf as an elitist sport, making it more inclusive and aligned with contemporary values.

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The Rise of Youth and Diversity

Golf is experiencing a surge in diversity and youth participation. Initiatives to make golf more inclusive are seeing success, attracting players from various backgrounds and demographics. This shift is vital for the sport’s growth, as it introduces fresh perspectives and talent. Furthermore, programs aimed at young players are vital for nurturing the next generation of golfers, ensuring the sport’s continued relevance and vitality.

Global Expansion

Golf’s global footprint is expanding, with new markets in Asia, Africa, and South America emerging rapidly. These regions are not only participating more in the sport but are also hosting international tournaments, contributing to golf’s growth worldwide. This global expansion is accompanied by an increasing recognition of golf not just as a sport but as a vehicle for economic and social development.


As we look to the future, it is clear that golf will continue to evolve and adapt. By embracing technology, sustainability, and inclusivity, golf can maintain its cherished traditions while becoming a more dynamic and accessible sport for future generations.

Thank you for joining me on this journey through the history and future of golf.

Warm regards, Robert Greenfield

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