New Book - GOLF: The Art of the Mental Game
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PGA Tour Notes
Tour Stats to Know
GOLF: The Art of the Mental Game
Watch for Dr. Joe's newest book, GOLF:The Art of the Mental Game in April 2009. Published by the incomparable Rizzoli Publications, and featuring the art of classic illustrator Anthony Ravielli. Pre-order your copy now at amazon
. Here's a pre-publication sneak preview:
JUST COUNT THE GOOD ONES
They say that the best athletes have long memories of their successes and short memories of their failures. Once, when Jack Nicklaus was asked how to cure the shanks, he replied that he wouldn’t know since he’d never hit one. Someone in the audience claimed to have seen him shank a shot, but Jack was adamant in his belief that it had never happened.
Your game will improve if you dwell more on the successes and pay less attention to the errors. Take the time to appreciate a good shot as it flies toward the target and settles down just where you planned. This will imprint a positive image in your mind and help to build your confidence.
After your round, skip the replays of what went wrong and what could have been. Instead, take the time to review the good decisions and the good shots you made. Do this often enough and the good ones will be all that you remember.
If you are a beginner or high-handicapper, you should use my special scoring system: just count the shots you liked. Give yourself a point for each, and make it your intention to get more points each time you play.
I’ve also taught this special system to better golfers, including tour pros, with much success. When they get too preoccupied with score, just counting the good ones shifts their attention to the quality of the shots they are playing. And when golfers of any level play more high-quality shots, their scores are bound to be lower.
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PGA TOUR NOTES
This just in: Tiger is back. Showing his usual winner's attitude, after being eliminated by Tim Clark in the second round of play at the Accenture WGC Tournament, Tiger commented that he had really only hit two bad shots in 32 holes and that he just hadn't made enough birdies to win that second match. Great to have him back on Tour.
We are 9 tournaments into the 2009 season and as usual, have seen a little bit of everything. Hawaii saw major winners Geoff Ogilvy and Zach Johnson starting their years out the right way with victories in the Mercedes-Benz Championship and the Sony Open. High school senior Tadd Fujikawa, attempting to become the youngest PGA Tour event winner after qualifying Monday, was two strokes back entering the last round of the Sony, but failed to keep up with the leaders, fading to 32nd place with a final round 73.
Back on the mainland, Pat Perez won his first tour event at the Hope in Palm Desert, Kenny Perry didn't lose the FBR Open on Superbowl Sunday and Nick Watney took home his second PGA tournament trophy with his rock steady, only player to shoot under par 4 days in a row performance at the Tiger-free Buick Open at Torrey Pines.
The rain shortened- Pebble Beach National Pro-Am went to second time winner Dustin Johnson and SoCal Hero Phil Mickelson had a wild ride on Sunday at Riviera and needed to shoot three strokes lower than his winning score last year, but pulled out the repeat at the Northern Trust Open with birdies on two of his last three holes.
As happens from time to time on the PGA Tour, we got to watch what happens when top professionals struggle with nerves, doubts and swings at the FBR, the Buick and the Northern Trust Open. In a playoff with Charley Hoffman, now 13-time PGA Tour winner Perry bogeyed both his 72nd and 73rd holes of the week, but was able to hold on, parring the second playoff hole, and then holing a putt from just off the green for a much needed birdie on the final playoff hole.
The Buick was even more interesting, with Camilo Villegas looking large and in charge for two rounds before slipping on the weekend, then John Rollins stepping up for the next 31 holes, and finally Watney gliding past the leaders with birdies on two of his last three holes for the victory.
The Northern Trust gave Phil a chance to bounce back from 5 bogeys after an opening eagle during round four. Playing holes 2-14 in 5 over par, Phil was in danger of missing a playoff when he stepped up and bounced back with nice birdies on the 16th and 17th holes to reclaim the trophy.
Geoff Ogilvy became the first two-time champion this year when he vanquished all takers at the match play championships, and first time PGA winner Y.E. Yang put up 5 birdies in his first 12 holes on Sunday at the Honda Classic, providing just enough cushion to hold on against John Rollins.
Tour Stats to Know
Here is the description of the 162- yard 16th hole at the TPC Scottsdale from the PGA Tour web site: "This is designer Tom Weiskopf's favorite par 3 on the stadium-style course. The green is an elusive target, requiring accuracy. Scores vary from 2-4, offering the player a good birdie opportunity."
If you didn't know anything about the FBR Open you wouldn't think we would care too much about how the pros play the hole. They'd average a little over 3, in general, pleased to hit the green with a chance at a birdie, a little bummed after a bogey. The usual.
But the 16th at Scottsdale is one of the trademark holes for the PGA Tour for several reasons: it's the only hole that is totally surrounded by bleachers, the only hole at which booing, (for anyone other than Boo, of course), is not discouraged, and the only hole at which there is a two-drink minimum. (Just checking to see if you've dozed off, of course there's no minimum, but sometimes it seems there's no maximum either...)
So 20,000 mildly tipsy fans, a shaming round of boos guaranteed for missing the green, and a 123 yard hole location for Saturday's third round yielded the following - less than two-thirds of the professionals who played the hole that day hit the green, and the average for those who did found their ball 31'8' from the hole.
Translation- the 65 percent of the Pros who were able to hit the green off a perfect lie from the tee were only able to manage an average of a ten yard miss from a hole 123 yards away.
Try to remember this the next time you miss a green from the 125 yard marker in the fairway...
©2009 Dr. Joseph Parent
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©2009 Dr. Joe Parent