Zen Golf Quote of the Week
Fedex Cup/Tour Championship
The Email Bag
Zen Golf Deck and New Audiobook
Tour Stats to Know
Zen Golf Membership and Teleforum
Events and Media
PGA Tour Notes
The Ryder Cup
The first ever Monday finish for the Ryder Cup produced a spirited charge from an American team that entered the day needing 7 1/2 out of 12 points to retain possession of the trophy. The singles matches featured one of the great comebacks in history by rookie Rickie Fowler, but the thrashing delivered by the Euros in the Sunday afternoon four-ball matches provided the victors with just enough cushion to hold on to their lead. Captain Colin Montgomery provided his team with passionate and steady coaching throughout, and a rock solid performance by U.S. Open Champion Graeme McDowell secured the winning point on the 17th hole of the 28th match.
After jumping out to a 6-4 lead after the first two sessions, the Americans performed dismally on Sunday, handing the home squad a 3 point advantage heading into the last day. President's Cup heroes Stricker and Woods managed to win just one hole in their abbreviated, 12 hole match with Donald and Westwood, and the entire team was able to win only 14 more holes in the other 5 matches.
The Americans traditionally do their best in the singles, and with big performances from leadoff man Stricker, first timers Dustin Johnson and Jeff Overton, and a big return to form by world #1 Tiger Woods, things began to tighten up. Once Phil Mickelson and Zach Johnson closed out their matches, the US needed just one more point to bring the Cup back home.
It was at this point that Corey Pavin's most disputed captain's pick, Rickie Fowler, stepped up in his match against Euro captain's pick Eduardo Molinari. Finding himself down 4 with 6 holes to go, Fowler birdied 5 of his last 6 holes, winning 4 of them. Two beautiful birdie putts on the 17th and 18th holes proved his mental toughness, and brought the US to within 1/2 point of a huge comeback that would tie the Euros and retain the Cup.
As the Ryder Cup came down to the final match for the first time since 1991, Captain Monty's final touch played out to perfection. McDowell said that the pressure on the back nine against Hunter Mahan made his final round at the US Open feel like a casual nine holes against his dad in the late afternoon. After Mahan had reduced McDowell's lead to one after a birdie on 15, McDowell slid a tricky 15 footer in on 16. With the balance of the competition riding on winning the last two holes, Mahan showed the effects of the great stress that has appeared so many times before in this tournament, leaving his approach on the par 3 17th short, then stubbing a chip from just off the green. (see Tour Stats to Know, below). After McDowell putted up close, Mahan saw his par putt slide by the hole and the Euro-party had begun.
Every player says that Ryder Cup pressure is like nothing they've ever felt on a golf course. At the press conference after the tournament, the Americans came to Hunter's defense, rightfully pointing out that there were numerous opportunities earlier in the tournament where the needed half point could have been picked up. They praised Hunter for stepping up to the challenge of the anchor position, and showed tremendous respect for his willingness to be the one on the line at crunch time for the tournament.
The Fedex Cup/Tour Championship
The PGA Tour's ongoing experiment with the playoffs format was probably not exactly what their television sponsors were hoping for. While there was more math done on the broadcast for the Tour Championship than has come before on all golf broadcasts combined throughout time, it's clear that the golfers were focused on one thing, playing the golf tournament.
While the biggest name in golf, Tiger Woods, was left out of the final proceedings, and 3 of the 5 players at the top of the rankings shot themselves out of contention from the get go, Jim Furyk went about his business the way he has for the better part of two decades on the PGA Tour. His bogey-free 67 on Thursday coupled with 65 on Friday put him at the top of the leaderboard with Luke Donald, a captains pick for the upcoming Ryder Cup. Two workman-like even-par rounds over the weekend secured him the one-stroke victory, and once all the algebra was complete, the little 3 footer he left himself for a "sandy" par on the 72nd hole also brought him the $10 million bonus for finishing first in the Fedex Cup.
What may have been the most interesting side game of the week was watching Paul Casey, #6 in the Official World Golf Rankings but left off the Euro squad by Captain Monty. An opening round 66 had him right in the mix, and as one of the five who could win the playoffs with a win in the Tour Championship, it was going to make for some interesting Monday morning quarterbacking had he held on to win and be crowned the next $10 million dollar man - while being left off the Ryder Cup team. After an over-par round on Friday, however, Casey, like the Americans did in Wales, simply left himself a little too much to do in the end to grab the win.
The Email Bag
Dear Dr. Joe,
"I picked up Zen Golf recently and started to apply the lessons. The change was immediate and, from all evidence, permanent.
I've hit enough good shots in the past to know what I was capable of it. I haven't internalized all the lessons, but I now have a process/routine and trust it.
The bottom line is that by using the techniques in Zen Golf, I'm aware of the problems and their causes. My "remedies" are to slow down and trust the process.
And there's been a side benefit. I'm more content lately. It all has to do with the "pebbles in the bowl" exercise. I pay attention, but I do it like an anthropologist. I don't judge, I just take note and move on. And it's worked.
Who'd have thought it could be so simple? Maybe not easy for an A-type personality, say, but definitely simple. For me it's just what the doctor ordered."
Joe Z., South Carolina
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GOLF: The Art of the Mental Game
Dr. Joe's audiobook version of GOLF: The Art of the Mental Game is now available, along with ZEN GOLF and ZEN PUTTING, on Audible.com and iTunes. Click here to purchase. Members can now access the audiobook version on the zengolf.com website, along with ZEN GOLF and ZEN PUTTING, at the Members Audio page.
Tour Stats to Know
Of the numerous statistics that the PGA Tour collects and displays, here's one that shows results that we found particularly shocking. Proximity to hole after playing shots from 10 Yards or less.
This stat shows the average length putt that a player leaves himself when hitting from off the green, but within 10 yards (30 feet) of the hole. The good news: 31 players averaged getting their ball to within 3 feet of the hole. The bad news: 159 of them miss by more than 3 feet on these crucial shots.
The importance of the stat is evident when looking at the difference between results for putts of 3 feet or less versus putts between 3 and 5 feet long, the more common result for the 159 above. The tour average for making putts within 3 feet is 99% or better for the top 134 players, and no worse than 97.5% for the bottom. The tour best for putts 3-5 feet is 94.7%, with the average dropping to below 80% for the bottom 9 players. In addition to the effect on scoring, these conversion differences add pressure to every preceding shot, as the player will naturally press to hit shots closer.
This was exactly the shot that Hunter Mahan left himself on the 17th hole on Ryder Cup Monday. The incredible stress he was feeling at that moment clearly interfered with his usual play which would have left him with a putt of just under 4 feet. The 88% success rate he usually shows from that distance would have been much preferred to the 20% or so that he averages from where his duffed shot left him. While this scenario is certainly unusual, this is clearly an area where the pros and the club golfers have much room for improvement, the kind of improvement that could make a round of golf a much less stressful affair.
Zen Golf Membership and Teleforum
Our membership program has changed to include a FREE PHONE SESSION with one pre-paid year or a full year of accrued monthly membership payments. We encourage those of you who are interested but haven't yet committed to visit the Zen Golf website and sign up for our introductory trial membership. In addition to participating in the next three telefora, and access to the complete archive of all previous ones, you can view and listen to our other multimedia resources on the website, and are entitled to discounts on products. By expanding to the full annual membership, you will qualify for all lesson and coaching discounts, and will immediately qualify for a FREE PHONE SESSION. Please go to the Membership Page
of the website for details.
Next Teleforum October 19
Our last Member's Teleforum has been posted for members on our website. The next is scheduled for Tuesday, October 19 at 5:30 p.m. Pacific time; 8:30 p.m. Eastern.
Events & Media
Keynote Speaking and Business Golf Opportunities
Dr. Parent is now being represented by Fidelity Sports Group for his keynote speaking, corporate outings and other business golf opportunities. To book Dr. Joe for a speech, corporate event or client golf appreciation program, please contact
David Moorman or Drew Carr of
"Making The Turn" with Peter Kessler
Dr. Joe is a regular commentator on Peter Kessler's "Making the Turn," a very popular radio program on the PGA TOUR Network of XM/Sirius. Dr. Joe speaks with Peter every other week, with additional special appearances after majors and "cup" events. Dr. Joe joins Peter on October 18, November 1, and November 15. The program airs Monday-Friday on XM146 and Sirius209 and can also be conveniently accessed from the homepage of the PGA Tour website.
Check out one of our new favorite training devices - the Orange Whip. The included DVD will also show you how to use this great tempo trainer as a warm-up aid before your practice session or round of golf.
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Yours in Clarity, Commitment, and Composure,
Zen Golf International
©2010 Dr. Joe Parent