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Zen Golf Quote of the Week
March 2007


  • Golf Magazine: March Issue - How to be Clutch

  • Zen Golf School May 19-20, 2007

  • Zen Golf Members Section on the Web Site

  • Tournament Notes:

    • Buick Invitational

    • FBR Open

    • Nissan Open



Dear Golfer,
The PGA TOUR is in full swing, and Dr. Joe has some interesting commentary. It's nearly time to begin your preparation for the golf season ahead - we hear that some of you think the best way to do that is to re-read or re-listen to Zen Golf. Golf Magazine has a tip from Doc and more to come, and Zen Putting is now on its way to the stores.

We receive emails from all over the world from people who have been touched by Zen Golf. They are a big reason that we are moving forward with our new members' section of the web site, in an effort to create a true community of like-minded players. Here is an excerpt from an email from Australia that we received in February.  
"I believe that what you have written is ideal for helping people in life through the great game of golf. I plan to improve myself further in golf and life and get my handicap down using the help of Zen Golf. When are you going to teach a Zen Golf school down here in Oz? I think it would take off big time. All the best, and thanks again, S.L."  

If you have any success stories, we appreciate receiving them and being able to offer them (anonymously - initials only) as inspiration for others. 

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Golf Magazine: March Issue - How to be Clutch

Golf Magazine featured a tip from Zen Putting: Mastering the Mental Game on the Greens, in their March issue. "How to turn 4-footers into Tap-ins" is the front cover teaser for the "How to be Clutch" mental game special section which showcases Doc's lesson. Golf Magazine describes it this way: "Dr. Joe Parent has the best putting drill you've never heard of - and it works!" Look in the next issue for another mental game lesson from Doc.

If you get your order in now for Zen Putting, you'll be sure to receive it in time for The Masters. The books are back from the printer, headed for the stores, and will be on sale April 5. You can pre-order on-line at Amazon.com and other on-line booksellers, as well as at Barnes&Noble, Borders, and other bookstores. The Audiobook edition will be recorded this month, and should be available soon after the hardcover is released. 

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Zen Golf School May 19-20, 2007 

The Zen Golf School at the Ojai Valley Inn Golf Academy combines Zen Golf mental game lessons with Director of Instruction Jeff Johnson's video analysis and swing technique lessons. The program is a unique combination of a mental game seminar with Dr. Joe each morning, followed by video and practice area lessons with Jeff. Dr. Joe and Jeff work together on swing and mental images to help you take your range game to the course. Also includes putting and short game lessons. Afternoons feature on-the-course playing lessons with both instructors.

Program includes two nights lodging at the deluxe Ojai Valley Inn and Spa Resort, instructional materials, a Zen Golf Audiobook, video swing analysis, lunches, green fees and cart.

Program Schedule: 9:00am - 5:30pm Saturday and Sunday

 
$795 per person (commuter rate = no lodging)
$1195 per person (single occupancy)*
$1995 per couple (or double occupancy)*
*(Please note: this is a 50% discount from standard room rates)

To register, please call the Ojai Valley Inn at 805-646-1111 and ask for Jeff Johnson in the Pro Shop. For more information, call the Zen Golf office at 805-640-1046 or email info@zengolf.com This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

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Zen Golf Members Section on the Web Site

Our new web site feature is in the final stages of pre-production, with the roll-out scheduled to coincide with the release of Zen Putting. We plan on offering new components, such as the Zen Golf Shop of products and services we recommend, a Mental Game Forum, and more lessons and PGA Tour commentary by Dr. Joe.

There will be discounts for members of our Zen Golf Community on a whole host of services and products. Please watch for an email notice of the Grand Opening. 

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Tournament Notes  

Buick Invitational, Torrey Pines GC, San Diego, CA:
Even Tiger does it: He hit the lip with a five-wood out of a fairway bunker and said, "the problem was I was trying to help get the ball in the air." Sound familiar? His solution was similar to what I wrote in an earlier newsletter on playing from fairway bunkers: Visualize that the ball is sitting on grass and swing the way you would from the fairway, and make an ordinary swing. Tiger recognized that the five-wood already has plenty of loft - there was no need to help it up. He said he told himself to "just hit a normal five wood. Stay down on it, release the club, no need to try to help it in the air, hit a high cut, just hit a good solid shot. And it came out perfectly."

Also, one of his goals: be bogey-free. The point that I make with all my players: making birdie is good, but saving par is more important. Spend more time on the short game. Tiger gets extra focused on par-saving putts. He did bigger fist pumps for par saves than for birdies.

Some helpful comments by Nick Faldo:
  • On the claw grip for putting: use it as a training aid to get the feel of a firm left wrist.
  • On Tiger's putting: soft grip, just firm enough to control it, but that's it.
  • On Tiger's post shot routine: two seconds of reaction, he says something to himself, then click, reset. It's dealt with.
  • Nick Notices An Anyway: when a player got distracted by an activity nearby, he should have started over. Under pressure, you need to stop yourself, reset, make a new decision and go again.
  • On the last six holes of a tournament: This is the clench zone. Both young players that started with the lead after the third round made bad decisions on holes 12 and 13. Temperatures are rising, your mind is getting scrambled, everything is happening in a mad rush. Start your full, deep breathing again to collect yourself. That's the way you stay in your own tempo, even out your emotions, and make good course management decisions.

FBR Open, TPC Scottsdale, Scottsdale, AZ
An interesting statistic - when the pros look at how many putts longer than 10' are made in a tournament, they regard three per round as very good. They also look at how many shorter putts are missed as a key to being in or out of contention.

When a player made a full swing on a short bunker shot, Johnny Miller commented on the "magical thump" sound that is the key to consistently good bunker shots.

Johnny noted that Aaron Baddeley, in contention at the time, did the smart thing from a very bad lie near the green: take your medicine, get it on the green and let your putter do the talking.

Effects of pressure: with his lead down to one shot, Jeff Quinney made an unsafe club selection on the drivable par-4 17th hole. When the pressure is on, the body tends to tighten and the arms go on through, resulting in a pull hook - this time into the water.

In putting, it can go the other way when things get tense. An on-course commentator suggested that a player pushed his putt because grip pressure can tighten and then the putter head doesn't release, leaving the face open. Johnny expressed an alternative possibility, one that I favor. He said that the player was probably thinking, 'Don't pull it like I did on the last hole.' My way of describing a pushed putt is similar - he did an especially good job of not pulling it. The same thing applied to Quinney on his drive on 18. He pushed it far to the right - an especially good job of not pull-hooking it like he did on the previous hole.

Nissan Open, The Riviera CC, Pacific Palisades, CA
A few holes into the back nine on Sunday, Phil Mickelson had a 4 shot lead on Charles Howell III.

Howell got to 4 under on 14. Nick Faldo made a prophetic comment, saying he has to do something crazy, like birdie his way in. He's been so close, maybe that's the way to get to the winner's circle - just go and do it in a mad blitz.

Phil left his first putt on 13 three feet short. Then the story of the right-edge putt from Zen Golf happened. Faldo said he played it for right edge. Sure enough, he hit the right edge and it went all the way around and came out. He hit the same shot on 12 the day before. Did we detect the slightest of pulls on both putts?
Then he hit it close on 16, but again hit the right edge.

Phil headed for 18 with a one shot lead over Howell.

Howell left it short of the 18th green, and decided to putt. Commentators wondered if that was prompted by memories of a poor chip on the last hole in Hawaii earlier this year. He got up and down this time, to stay within one shot of Mickelson.

The commentators discussed Phil's approach shot after he had pushed his drive into the left rough. The ball was above his feet, promoting a draw that takes it away from the pin in the back left. Distance: 204 yards to the hole.

David Feherty comments that he took a club out very quickly, and it looks like a short one for 204 yards. He's ready to play quite quickly. It's an 8 iron. He must think this lie is going to be a flyer.

Ironically, that's the club he chose and played quickly at the US Open for his third shot, and left it short and left. Again, he leaves it short and left.

Nick Faldo says he should have been playing for the front right of the green, let it draw from that lie to the right side of the green. Now he's got a difficult pitch over the rough.

Phil hit a poor pitch. That was a key moment. Although he was away, he still had a putt for the win, and the other players offered to go ahead of him, but he elected to putt first. Faldo was surprised. Said he would have taken some time, looked the putt over all the way around, and especially he would have gotten to see how two other putts rolled around the hole. "If it was me, I'd have walked away and had a little bit of time to rethink."

Phil missed the putt, and the playoff was on.

Howell's chip shot on the last playoff hole was eerily similar to the one he misplayed in Hawaii that cost him that tournament. He hit a much better chip shot this time, just three feet past the hole. He holed the putt and finally got his second win, after 100 tournaments and ten second-place finishes since his first win.

In most of the tournaments so far this year - the Sony Open, Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, Buick Invitational, Nissan Open and FBR Open - we saw examples of how hard it is to hold a lead and how the player's chasing the leader can free it up and make a bunch of birdies when they are playing with the "nothing to lose" feeling. 

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Feel free to forward this newsletter, or links to archived newsletters. Please don't hesitate to let us know if there are other topics you'd like to see addressed in our Zen Golf Newsletters, or any other feedback that will help us serve you better. 
 
Yours in Clarity, Commitment, and Composure,
Dr. Joe
© 2007 Dr. Joseph Parent
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