Zen Golf Quote of the Week
- The Masters
- Listen to Dr. Joe
- Tournament Notes
- Checking Emails
- More from the Tour
- Dr. Joe at Your Club
- Golf Shop: Gifts for Mother's Day and Father's Day
The Masters has come and gone, so the opening of golf season is now official! Congrats to Trevor Immelman and a speedy rehab to Tiger!
The Masters Tournament is now playing as such a difficult test that the traditional roars of back-nine excitement have been largely absent. The days of big hitters making eagles and birdie runs and a fluid/volatile leader board to the last hole may be forever in the past. This year the winner ground out a three-over-par 75 on a day when all challengers succumbed to a demon or two. It equaled the highest closing round ever by a Masters Champion, set almost 50 years ago. Still, take nothing away from Trevor Immelman. It is rare that someone is near the top of the stat chart in both driving accuracy and driving distance.
Trevor got some special help from his idol, Gary Player.
Putting advice: to keep his head down – my version of that would be to stay more focused on the process of rolling a good putt than worrying about how it will turn out. It is that worry that produces the anticipatory look that pulls us up out of our putting posture.
Attitude advice: believe in your self and be ready for adversity – the first part is important; the second part doesn’t get mentioned often enough. That doesn’t mean expecting that you’ll hit a lot of bad shots – it means pre-acceptance of the ups and downs that usually happen through a round, understanding that they’ll be magnified on that course and in that circumstance, and not letting the adversity start a negative cycle that brings ever more adversity.
In Tiger’s round we saw something highly unusual – the expression on his face after he missed 4-foot par-saver on the fourth hole. As he marked and reset his ball for his second putt, there was a look of drained resignation, on which David Feherty commented during the broadcast. Only later did we discover that he was playing in a good deal of pain from his knee. While he said that it didn’t directly affect any of the swings he made, the cumulative affect of ongoing pain is stressful and exhausting. The resultant fatigue would make it harder to focus on those critical putts inside 10 feet, and would explain why he was missing the putts that he is usually the best in the world at holing. If it’s hard to focus on path and pace, there is a tendency to steer the putt, and that’s what it looked like Tiger was doing on the short ones. It matches his description of having no trouble on the long putts, but on the short ones feeling like he was “dragging” the putter through the stroke instead of releasing freely.
Listen to Dr. Joe
“At the Turn” with Peter Kessler, on The PGA TOUR Network, XM Radio Channel 146, is featuring Dr. Joe on a regular basis. They had a great talk on Monday after the Masters. Listen for Doc’s comments, usually in the second half of the 8-9am Eastern time broadcast. Check website listings for re-broadcast times.
Dr. Joe was an invited speaker at the World Scientific Congress of Golf
, March 25, Phoenix, AZ.
While in Phoenix, Doc gave a talk to the ASU Lady Sun Devils Golf Team.
Doc has also spoken to a number of collegiate men’s teams in the past year, including UCLA, Loyola Marymount, Memphis, and Colorado (the latter two during a tournament in southern California). He’s also recently worked with individual players from Memphis, Pepperdine and UC Santa Barbara.
Some past tournament thoughts didn’t fit in past newsletters, so let’s catch up with some of our PGA Tour Notes . . ..
FBR Open: In Phoenix, we were treated to our second playoff of the PGA season. J.B. Holmes had birdie opportunities twice on eighteen that day. After a back nine filled with indecision and more grinding than a mental game coach ever wants to see, J.B. came through with the putter and secured his second PGA Tour victory.
Watching Holmes trying to visualize some shots, especially his 3-iron to the island green on the 15th hole was painful. Nick Faldo, the broadcast commentator, described his discomfort with the shot, and the ball ending up in the water hazard was not a surprise outcome.
Holmes, who obviously loves the 18th hole, stood over the tee shot with supreme confidence both on the 72nd regulation and 1st playoff holes. This comfort zone allowed him to put the indecisiveness behind and swing freely, setting up short pitches, and correspondingly short birdie putts, both times.
Swashbucklers like Holmes and Mickelson are extremely fun players to watch. They will try just about any shot at just about any time. This can cause unnecessary stress toward the end of a long day or week. The best players know how to conserve mental energy throughout a round or a tournament.
PODS Championship in Tampa: Sean O’Hair returned to the winner’s circle, showing the determination that had him leading last year’s Player’s Championship going into the final round. He showed a good attitude in response to his quadruple bogey on 17, and there have obviously been no long-standing effects. Stewart Cink showed some vulnerability after losing his eighth 3rd round lead in nine opportunities.
More from the Tour
TOUR Streaks: Tiger Woods kept his PGA Tour and worldwide streaks alive, winning Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Invitational, (with yet another world class Nike commercial moment)! Bart Bryant gave it all he had, but we all know that sometimes that’s just not enough against Tiger. The next week at the World Golf Championship tourney at Doral, however, Tiger’s putting touch was missing, and Geoff Ogilvy was able to string together nine Monday morning pars to hold off the strongest field of the year.
Lorena Ochoa now has a four tournament streak going (and 5 of 6 so far this year), including the first major of the year, the Kraft-Nabisco. She qualified for the Golf Hall of Fame, with her 11-stroke victory at the Corona Championship in her home country. She is the second youngest ever to qualify, and becomes eligible for induction in 2012. Interesting to compare her domination of the ladies’ tour with Tiger’s domination of the men’s. Is she thinking of the Grand Slam?
Christina Kim, who started working with Dr. Joe in January, made three consecutive Top Ten finishes in Hawaii, Singapore and Phoenix. Congrats to Christina!
Stat City: One of our favorite PGA Tour statistics is the “Bounce Back.” This is a measure of the percentage of time that a player is over par for one hole and then under par for the following hole. Through the Zurich Classic, Steve Flesch, Rory Sabbatini, Padraig Harrington and Anthony Kim were all bouncing back at better than a 30% clip!
Dr. Joe at Your Club
If you’d like to see Dr. Joe at your club for a presentation or a private lesson, or if you have a company or association that would like to hear one of his “Mastering the Mental Game in Business” presentations, please contact us at the office, 805-640-1046, for scheduling and other details.
Golf Shop: Gifts for Mother's Day and Father's Day
Please visit the Golf Shop at zengolf.com for Zen Golf and Zen Putting, as well as specials on CD audiobooks, audio downloads, informative and entertaining DVD's, and Zen Golf Hats. Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are on the way – consider a gift certificate for an in-person or phone lesson with Dr. Joe!
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Yours in Clarity, Commitment, and Composure,
Zen Golf International
©2008 Dr. Joe Parent