Archive for January, 2012

Chipping drill…

…that can work on the full swing too.

Like a sniper changing the setting on his scope…

It gets you out of hitting at the ball and many other nasty things in chipping.

Eye a spot in front of the ball, swing there and let the ball get in the way. Most people’s practice swings are good and that is basically what this is. You will have extra shaft lean at the ball as you are swinging to a point in front of the ball. Even if you scoop at the spot in front of the ball, the club will be in a better place at impact.

Never, take your eye off that spot. It is a practice swing to that spot in front of the ball and the ball gets in the way.

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Kyle Stanley…YIKES!!!!!

I am reminded of Jean Claude. Winning on the PGA Tour is hard enough without that albatross in the back of your head.

I am fighting past failures myself right now, so I feel for him.

If I were in his inner circle, I would say this.

“Boss, you messed up. BFD. You proved you were good enough to win and everyone knows it. You will be an even bigger hero next time you are in this position and you win. The good news is, you have a high 6 figure check to help the sting. Winning is not about the money, but it sure doesn’t hurt. Go buy yourself an Aston Martin. There are thousands of dorks on the mini tours and millions of chops out there who would have loved to gag away a PGA Tour event and be exempt for all of 2013 even if you don’t make another cut. There is a long winded gas bag out there who thinks he hits it far who wishes he had made 13 on the last hole to lose by one. You only made an 8. Take $50,000 and have a Tiger Weekend in Vegas.”

The 5 levels of golf

When you are improving at golf, there are 5 stages of success.

1. On the practice area (range, chipping and putting green)
2. On the course
3. During a tournament
4. During a big tournament
5. During a big tournament on Sunday

Right now I am at stage 2.5

I can’t do it for 18 holes yet. It’s a combination of better focus and confidence which leads to a greater commitment to each individual shot.

I hope you all can learn something from my struggles and hopefully perservearence. I am not trying to make excuses or setting myself up for failure…I am trying to be honest with myself and candid with all of you so we can improve.

It’s a mental game for me now. I have the ability to execute physically in all parts of my game. I need to start playing golf and stop “working on things.”

Tough habit to break. Getting off swing crack might be as hard as getting off real crack.

I am through 9 in Phoenix

Birdied #1 and made 8 pars.

Diver-A+
Irons-D. Getting in front and pushing them.
Wedges-B solid but unspectacular.
Chipping-B+
Putting-B
Ability to stay focused during a 3 hour front 9-C

Edit #1-I am pissed beyond belief. I have played this course 20+ times, just not in the last 3 years. I was unable to play a practice round because there were events yesterday. I hit a ball 5 yards left of the 10 the fairway. They put in new a rock pile and bush area for aesthetics. My ball was up against a bush and I had to take an unplayable.

Problem is the unplayable drop rolled up against another bush but not outside the area that would create a redrop, so I had to take another. Hit a nice shot to 15 feet and missed for a double.

Next hole I was 3 paces from the fairway, up against a tree and had to take another unplayable. Hit what I thought was a good shot to a pin behind a bunker. Ball was a foot or two short and rolled back in the bunker.

Hit a nice bunker shot to 6 feet (tough shot) and the putt did a 360 and came back at me.

On 12 I was seriously pissed after burning the edge on a 6 footer and pulled a Stadler on the 18″er.

You can make fun of me for the 18″er.

I am the devil..666

Regathered my sanity and birdied the 220 yard 13th.

Edit #2-on 14-17 I hit really nice approach shots. I hit it over the green to back pin on 14. Over is bad, but what was I protecting? Hit nice approach shots on 15-17. Just missed on 15 and 16 from 15 and 10 feet. Have another 10 footer on 17.

Missed the 10 footer on 17 and a 200 footer for eagle on 18.

76 is not good, but when you make four 6’s in a 5 hole stretch, the other 13 weren’t so bad.

I hit it really well the last 6 holes. After the insanity that gripped me on 10-12 subsided, I made a nice adjustment to why I pushed irons on front side.

I really hit very few poor shots today. I need to putt better. I didnt putt poorly, but I need to putt a lot better.

The biggest thing in need to do is stop trying to not hit bad shots…and just try to hit good ones.

The day a security guard went for his holster

Many of the Nationwide events I played in was as a Monday qualifier. When you are a member of the Tour you get a money clip with your name on it and that is your ID that gets you into the parking lot of the club and locker room.

When you are a qualifier, you get a badge that has the tournament name and “contestant” printed on it and that is your ID.

Three different times I had a run in with security and not having a money clip.

The first was on a pro am day, which like the PGA Tour was on Wednesday. Because I was a long drive champion, I often got requested to play with the tournament sponsor and this particular week was one of those times. The parking lot at the club was small, so amateurs had to go several miles away and be shuttled in. Typically, no other qualifier played in the pro-am, so security was not used to dealing with these temporary ID’s.

I got to the players lot, showed my ID and got this response, “Sir, this lot is for tournament players only, amateurs need to go to the other lot.”

I told him I was a pro, but was a qualifier. He asked to see my money clip and I tried to explain the money clip and qualifier badge to him. He repeated I needed to go to the amateur parking lot. I was going to miss my tee time if I did that so I just went past him, parked and went to the range.

The round was pretty uneventful, but I came back to the parking lot to find my car had been towed.

The second time wasn’t quite as humorous as having my car towed. The qualifier was rain delayed on Monday. On Tuesday Morning I finished my round with a 63 which was obviously going to make it. I really wanted a practice round that afternoon as the course is closed on Wednesdays for pro-ams. All of the officials knew me and I had done the Tour many favors by doing free exhibitions to help promote the Tour, so they went out of their way for me sometimes. This was one of those times. They OK’d me to come over to the course and play before the qualifier was officially over. Well, security didn’t have my name on “The List,” I didn’t have my temporary players badge and they wouldn’t let me through the gate. I had to go to the spectators parking lot, pay for a ticket, shuttle back to the course, check in, shuttle back to the spectators lot, get my car and drive back to the course.

The third time was my favorite. I had gotten a sponsor exemption this particular week in return for doing a long drive and trick shot show for a few thousand people on Tuesday. There were interviews on the local news and a very large picture of me on the front page of the sports section. After giving the exhibition, I was in the parking lot that could been seen from the entrance to the locker room where a security guard was standing. I was putting my bag in the car when several youngsters came to get my autograph and the security guard saw all of this happening. This was also in the days of metal spikes where you crunched when you walked in the parking lot.

An additional detail to the story was outside of every Nationwide and PGA Tour locker room, there is a sign with pictures of all the ID’s that get you into the locker room, including the temporary badge that qualifiers and sponsor exemption players get. This sign was about 12.37865″ from this guys face.

I crunched my way over to the locker room door and this guy asks me for my money clip. I showed him my badge and went to walk in. He put his arm in front of me and said, “Sir, I can’t let you in without a money clip.” I put my badge right up to the picture on the sign.

“Only players with money clips are allowed in the locker room.”

I looked at him like he had lost his mind and went to walk in to the locker room again. He put his hand on my shoulder and when I turned around he had gone for his holster and to my surprise, there was a gun there.

Well, I was young and angry and said…

“Go ahead and shoot me you ^(^%$%^&*(&^%$^&*(*&^%$%^&*(*&^%^&*(*&^%!@$^&*((*&”

The first two incidents were known by the officials and I didn’t get into trouble for this…which was new, because I got in trouble for everything else I did…LOL

The unimportance of lag as a primary goal

Here is the BIG misconception on this subject that gets everyone in trouble.

Throwing the lag away (casting) and unwinding it earlier are two COMPLETELY different motions. Most people think they are the same.

One involves a break down of the left wrist which cannot be fixed by “holding the lag.” Shorter back swing, keeping upper body behind ball, etc., is how you get rid of that “loss of lag.”

The other involves connecting the clubface to the turn and having the club rotate with the turn from the top of the down swing.

When you try and hold the lag or create more lag, you disconnect the rotation of the club from the turn and cause more issues than you can count.

It is a totally irrelevant discussion.

When you make a good swing, you get X amount of lag. If you try and create it, you get X on the scorecard.

Shortening your swing

All of us (including me) need some tough love when it comes to our golf games.

I will get on point after I tear into myself.

So as not to be a hypocrite, I will give myself the hammer first.

Right now, I stink at tournament golf. I used to be pretty good, but right now I am terrible.

I have spent so much time trying to rediscover my feel throughout the bag, my ability to perform at a competitive level is atrocious right now.

Why? Because it takes time to improve at golf. I am making an effort to rid my brain of mechanical thoughts and redirect to playing the game. Right now, I am awful, but I am making an effort every day to get better…the only way to do that…play tournaments and make an effort to be better each time.

Which brings me to the title of this post…and the same thing will apply to anything you are working on.

If you need to shorten your swing, it is not going to be shorter in a bucket of balls, a day or a week…but if you make an effort each time you swing to be shorter, a month or two from now you will have the length swing you want.

Just like I will be better at tournament golf when I have played 5, 10, 20 more of them.