When I spoke with Terri Anthony-Ryan, the head professional at Detroit golf center Belle Isle Golf Range, about the best short-game tactics for the average golfer, I made what I thought was a reasonable suggestion. “Let’s start at, say, 100 yards and work our way toward the putting surface.” She would have none of this. “I have a better idea. Let’s start with the putting surface and work our way out.” With this, Anthony-Ryan had already given me her first lesson: the very idea of focusing on putting first is instructive. She should know. She’s been correcting wrong-headed course strategies since 1984, whether at Belle Isle Golf Range or at University of Detroit Mercy, where she coaches the champion women’s golf team. Her skills haven’t gone unnoticed in the greater world of golf: in 1996, Anthony-Ryan was voted Michigan PGA Teacher of the Year. In other words, she’s a busy woman. Fortunately, she was able to share some short-game tips while driving home from an all-day golf seminar at Ferris University in Big Rapids. We’ve condensed her advice into five general guidelines. Take them to heart, and you’ll be playing better in no time. Take Time to Learn the Putting Green The fastest way to improve your game is to spend time on the putting green. To make the most of this time, Anthony-Ryan recommends a practice routine called the Ladder Drill. Here’s how she explains it: “On the practice green, place a tee at 6, 12, 24, 36, and 48 inches away from the hole. Novices should start by rolling the ball with their hands—leave the putter out of it. Then, when you’ve got a feel for how the ball will roll, putt the ball toward the hole and then back to the tee. Next, do the same thing with your eyes closed. Once proficient with that, you can move the tees back to 6, 8, or more feet. This teaches players how to control distance and develop feel.” “The easiest way to read a green,” she continued, “is to mark your ball, close your eyes, and walk toward the cup. Your instincts will tell you everything you need to know about how the ball is going to break.” Bump It Real Good When you miss the green on your approach, it’s natural to want to pull out a high-lofted wedge. But according to Anthony-Ryan, the “bump-and-run” is usually the way to go. “The first thing is to assess your situation,” she said. “If you have a lot of green to work with and there’s nothing between you and the green, pull out an 8- or 9-iron, align the ball on the inside of your front foot, and lean toward the hole. Keep your arms locked, keep the ball low, and get it rolling as early as possible. We see a lot more balls roll in than fly in.” Putt Whenever Possible When your ball lands deep on the fringe or just off it, you might be torn between chipping and putting. Anthony-Ryan’s golden rule is “putt whenever possible.” She advises chipping and pitching only if it’s absolutely necessary. After all, it’s easier to flub a chip than it is to flub a putt. When Pitching, Sweep Through the Ball So what if you do have to pitch the ball? “If you’re in the rough and you don’t have a lot of green to work with,” Anthony-Ryan said, “play the ball in the middle of your stance and choke down on the club. Whereas with a bump-and-run we want to take an abbreviated swing, the goal here is to sweep through the ball. Let the sole go under the ball and automatically lift it up.” Don’t Be Scared of Sand Traps “I love the sand,” Anthony-Ryan said, acknowledging that most golfers dread the stuff. “The key here is to open the stance and take a steeper downswing than normal. Hit 2 inches behind the ball so the sand propels the ball out of the bunker and onto the green.” If you’re looking for more tips, visit Anthony-Ryan at Belle Isle Golf Range, which features a 30-station driving range, three putting greens, and a five-hole short course. In the end, you’ll do well to follow her tips, but there’s no substitute for practice.Read More
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Among Detroit museums, there is no greater art collection in size, diversity, or historic scope than that of the Detroit Institute of Arts. And of the many things to do in Detroit, it’s near the top of the list. So how do you see it all in one visit? You don’t. But you can totally play the highlights reel. Read on for Groupon’s guide to a superior Saturday at the DIA.10 a.m.: Sightseeing requires energy, and maybe a pastry. After heading in the main entrance, continue straight down the main hallway and follow signs for Kresge Court. Pick up a Starbucks coffee, and then delve into the immediately adjacent Photography, Drawings, and Prints exhibits. Highlights: Michelangelo’s Studies for the Sistine Chapel, Charles Sheeler’s photograph Wheels.11 a.m.: The first floor also features collections from Africa, Egypt, Native American cultures, and Oceania. The museum is particularly known for its African arts, a nearly unparalleled diversity of works from more than one hundred African cultures. One highlight: the Asante royal gold soul-washer’s badge, recovered from the burial chamber of a 19th-century king.Noon: Sit down in CafeDIA to refuel with a sandwich or burger.1 p.m.: One final stop on the first floor: Asia and the Middle East. The Islamic collection has many diverse highlights, but a particular favorite is the Qur’an written on colored Chinese papers in the 15th century.2 p.m.: Head back to Kresge Court and take the stairs up to the Grand Gallery. To your left, you’ll find one of the most extensive collections of American paintings around. Check out Frederic Edwin Church’s Cotopaxi, an iconic landscape that exemplifies the style and skill of the Hudson Valley Painters.3 p.m.: Across the Grand Hall lies the European and Renaissance Gallery, and within, visitors will find many familiar names: Rembrandt, Bellini, Titian, and more. Ever wanted to see Rodin’s The Thinker? Here’s your chance. How about Van Gogh’s self portrait? Also within these walls.4 p.m.: Time to take in the Museum’s most famous exhibit. Head to the Rivera Court to see Mexican muralist Diego Rivera’s 27-piece series, Detroit Industry. Commissioned specifically for display in the museum, the murals reflect Detroit’s history and culture, while showcasing artistry that Rivera himself considered the finest of his career. At any point, stop by the nearby Azul Taco Bar for a bite to eat.5 p.m.: It’s time to make some decisions. Extensive Modern and Contemporary galleries contain sculpture, expressionist paintings, and multimedia art. For something less abstract, head up to the third floor to check out the furniture collection, featuring decor from Europe, America, and beyond.6 p.m.: It’s time to let your heart be your guide. Dig back into an exhibit you really enjoyed, or take in one of the galleries not mentioned in this guide; there are a few.7 p.m.: Go home, or at least back to the hotel. It’s been a long day.Read More
The Fillmore Detroit is not only a historic Detroit music hall, but it’s also quite the chameleon. Throughout its 90-year history, The Fillmore has had more name changes than Prince. It’s housed within the 12-story, terra-cotta-covered Palms Building, and the elegant venue harkens back to an earlier era with its ornate 80-foot ceilings, shimmering chandeliers, and plush red-and-cream color scheme. Aside from creating a unique venue for Detroit concerts, the theater’s nostalgic look serves as a testament to its storied history. Check out a brief timeline of The Fillmore Detroit, which includes several reincarnations of the building.1925: Designed by legendary Detroit theater architect C. Howard Crane, the Renaissance Revival–style structure was originally built as a movie house and opened in October as the State Theatre.1937: The theater was renamed the Palms-State Theatre on May 22. Don’t worry, that won’t last for long. 1949: Apparently those extra six characters were quite the mouthful, so the theater’s name was shortened to the Palms Theatre, referred to as simply The Palms. The name comes from the building that houses the theater—the Palms Building. The building was constructed by the Palms Realty Co. and named after Detroit’s prominent real-estate mogul Francis S. Palms.Late 1950s, early 1960s: As the Palms Building was being modernized, its movie house was converted to a concert venue. Although the theater retained much of its original character, its floor seating was ripped out to create standing room. However, the balcony and mezzanine levels still have their seats.1982: It was renamed as the State Theatre. Again.1984: The building and theater were added to the National Register of Historic Places on November 25. So show some respect.1993: The Detroit Music Awards Foundation moved its annual Detroit Music Awards show to the venue.2007: To capitalize on the legendary Fillmore Theatre brand—and the iconic Fillmore venue in San Francisco—concert promoter Live Nation changed the venue’s name to the Fillmore Detroit.2015: For the first time, American Idol took its show on the road, recording two episodes at the Fillmore Detroit. The top 24 contestants performed for the show’s judges, Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick Jr., and Keith Urban, as well as a live audience. Not surprisingly, the episodes focused on Motown music.Read More