The U.S. Open, for both men and women, is a June happening. Angel Cabrera and Cristie Kerr will defend their championships. Dr. Parent started working with Cristie earlier this year, and will be doing all he can to prepare her to play her best again. Of course Tiger and Lorena, professional golf’s #1’s, will each be trying to add to their major championship totals, and a host of other contenders will no doubt make things interesting. Many of us enjoy watching the pros struggle with the tough setups that the USGA presents for these tournaments, as par becomes a good score for them, like it always is for us. Doc has some thoughts about the contest at the US Open pitting amateurs against the daunting course with Sunday pins, which he’ll discuss below.
The Players Championship
The PGA Tour finally got to use the most dramatic hole in golf to it’s utmost – ending this year’s tournament in sudden death. Sergio Garcia’s battle with his putting stroke has been widely reported, but his stroke held up just fine under “close to major” pressure. Paul Goydos showed grace under fire as he framed a stellar four days of play by dropping the first and last balls of the week into the 17th hole’s surrounding lake… Sergio’s attitude about his putting was quite impressive, as interviewers throughout the tournament continued to harp on his putting: he simply said he was stroking it fine, even when they weren’t dropping. Kind of like the difference between “making” and “holing” putts that is the key principle in ZEN PUTTING.
“At the Turn” with Peter Kessler, on The PGA TOUR Network, XM Radio Channel 146, continues to feature Dr. Joe on a regular basis, generally the Tuesday morning after a major or other important PGA Tour event. Listen for Doc’s comments, usually in the second half of the Eastern time broadcast. Check website listings for re-broadcast times.
US Open Challenge
What are the chances for the selected amateur, and the celebrities who’ll join him, of breaking 100 on the US Open course at Torrey Pines this year? Here’s what they need to know as preparation:
Think outside the box. You don’t have to hit a green in what is regulation for the pros, and you don’t have to hit it close to the pin. All you need for a score is eight bogeys and ten double bogeys (28 over par is 99). The most important thing is to keep on the short grass, so tee off with a five iron most of the time. Don’t worry about distance - you have two shots to get to a par 3, three shots to get to a par 4, and four shots to get to a par 5. Give yourself the widest margin for error on every shot, but don’t forget to commit to a specific target intention. And practice putting on hardwood floors. That should give you the right touch for the greens.
Don’t keep score as you go – once a hole is done, it’s done. Don’t worry about the cameras; they are editing the show down, so they’ll only be airing a few of your shots. Keep breathing, feel the ground as you walk, appreciate the beauty of the place. Play every shot for the joy of the feel through impact, rather than worrying about how it will turn out. Play Zen Golf by diving under the waves of thoughts about score, looking good, or anything other than letting your body do its best to do what it already knows how to do. Have a great time!”
Gifts for Father’s Day in the Zen Golf Shop
Please visit the Golf Shop at zengolf.com for hardcover copies of Zen Golf and Zen Putting, as well as specials on CD audiobooks, audio downloads, informative and entertaining DVD’s, and Zen Golf hats. Father’s Day is on the way – consider a gift certificate for an in-person or phone lesson with Dr. Joe. What better gift for Dad than playing golf with less frustration, lower scores, and more fun!
Verizon Heritage / AT&T Sugarloaf
Both of these tournaments saw players involved in overtime last year come back to win in 08. Boo Weekley had two chip-ins on Monday morning last year to edge Ernie Els, but found himself with a pretty easy three stroke win on a Sunday in Hilton Head, while Ryuji Imada, playing in a sudden death playoff for the second straight year, glided to victory after Kenny Perry had one of the worst bounces of the year occur on his 73rd hole of the tournament. Just goes to show how there are courses that suit players’ games. The intrinsic comfort that the player feels can boost confidence and create ease to the extent that they can come back year after year, contending and/or winning. Kenny continued his stellar play, culminating with a win at last week’s Memorial Tournament. Again, a course that makes him comfortable - enough to win the tournament for the third time.
“Your book is the best thing that ever happened to my golf game. I stopped playing about 10 years ago because I got frustrated when I peaked at a 7 handicap. That always stayed in my mind when I would go to the range and that is why I never went back to the course. I broke down and filled out a foursome with some friends. After that day I knew I wanted to play again but I had to clear my head. I got your book and now after 7 months of playing my handicap is an 11 and coming down. And matches are more enjoyable. Thanks for giving me back my love of golf !!!”
- H.B., Maryland
Ask Dr. Joe your mental game questions, or let your fellow readers know the ways that ZEN GOLF or ZEN PUTTING has helped in your life and/or your golf game. Email us at email@example.com. (Also, don’t be afraid to recommend them to your friends; once you’ve raised your game, it’s only fair to let them know how you did it.)
Tour Stats to Know
How many under par?
199 members of the PGA Tour are averaging under-par on par 5’s, while only 8 are averaging under par on par 4’s or par 3’s. (Tiger Woods is the only player with an under-par average on all three types of holes. Surprise!)
Pros take advantage of par 5 opportunities with either length or intelligence. They know when to go for the green in two, but if it’s not worth the risk they have favorite distances they lay back to, from which they feel most confident about getting up and down for birdie.
In the chapter “Beware of Trying for a Few Extra Yards” in ZEN GOLF, Doc talks about the importance of getting your drive in the fairway on a par 5, so that you have a better chance of hitting your second shot to the ideal distance for your wedge to the green.
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 book one of his keynotes, “The Zen of Business and Golf,” please contact us at the office, 805-640-1046, for scheduling and other details.
For more information on any Zen Golf programs, please call the Zen Golf International office at (805)640-1046 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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