Paramount // 2009 // 105 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // May 9th, 2009
From golf's greatest short game player.
Superstar golf pro Phil Mickelson takes the green for this two-disc tutorial on tightening up your short game, and you should know it's geared towards semi-skilled players. Or at least folks who know the lingo. Newbies or putt-putt jocks will have to play catch-up on a relatively intimidating learning curve, particularly with respect to the golf vernacular, what with the "flop shots" and the "putter loft" and the "downhill lies" and whatnot.
I am not a golfer, having only been known to take a few wild, errant swings at the local driving range and get bested by my wife on a regular basis at the mini-golf course. I did take golf as a phys ed elective in college, but only managed to squeeze out a B- and that's with a 100 on the written test. That's my preface.
Back to Phil. The short of it is, actual golfers will find much value in this set. Mickelson makes for a concise, engaging host and you have to believe he knows what he's talking about. His tips aren't vague or generic. There are specific instructions here, practical stuff that grabs me as useful. Again I am not a golf player, but the level of detail Mickelson gets into is impressive. (For what it's worth, I did some target demographic research with my golf-playing neighbor, who responded positively to the set.)
Here's the breakdown of the discs: putting, chipping, the flop shot, bunker play, and special shots (which may not be terribly useful but are actually pretty fun to watch). In addition, on the second disc is a selection of Mickelson's short game highlights, a segment on using something called the LazrAimer and a small behind-the-scenes featurette.
There's a lot of content to be found here and Mickelson doesn't skimp on the pro-tipping. Besides his jovial personality, he genuinely seems to care about helping improve your pathetic golf score.
For an instructional DVD, the technical treatment is impressive. The 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer is clean, bringing those greens to lush life, and the 2.0 stereo mix is, ahem, par for the course. That's right, I went there.
Not guilty. Philly-Mick for birdie.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.85:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 105 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Not Rated