Zen Golf Quote of the Week
- Golf Academy Program Oct 13-14
- The Zen Golf Shop
- Dr. Joe’s September/October Appearances
- Tournament Notes: The PGA Championship and the Playoffs for the FedEx Cup
- Notes from The Open Championship at Carnoustie
Here’s the email of the month to share with you:
“I was playing in a big pro-am event in the New York area. My pro partner and I posted our final score and went to have lunch...waiting for the results to be finalized.
Halfway through my hamburger, the tournament director comes in to inform us that we are in a sudden-death playoff for low team gross and we need to report to the tee immediately.
My pro partner is completely beside himself, saying all the things I learned from my Zen Golf lessons NOT to say. That's when I grabbed my phone to call Dr. Joe (I checked – it’s within the rules after the round and before a playoff).
Luckily Doc had time to talk right then. I said, “We’re about to start a playoff. You need to talk my partner off the ledge,” and handed the phone to my partner. By the time we get to the tee, my partner is talking about how he had unconditional confidence in how good a golfer he is, how this tee shot is his favorite, how he was visualizing winning the playoff, etc.
Long story short: On the first playoff hole we tie, and on the next hole our opponents have birdie putts inside 20 feet. They both miss. My partner’s 15 footer is for the win. I told him to step up and make it. He did! Confidently! Thanks again, Glen K., New Jersey.”
Golf Academy Program Oct. 13-14
There are a few spots still available for the October 13-14 Golf Academy program at the Ojai Valley Inn. Please call now to reserve a place. This program has mixed enrollment of men and women, so it will also be ideal for couples.
The Ojai Valley Inn Zen Golf Academy Program includes: personal mental game coaching, instructional materials, video swing analysis, a Zen Putting Audiobook, lunches, green fees and cart, and a great deal on two nights lodging at the deluxe Ojai Valley Inn and Spa Resort.
See more details at www.zengolf.com/calendar.htm
The Zen Golf Shop
We continue to develop new products for The Zen Golf Shop, at www.zengolf.com/html/buy_the_book.shtml
Featured additions include:
• The Audio Book version of ZEN PUTTING: Mastering the Mental Game on the Greens, unabridged and read by Dr. Joe
• Our special on the Mastering the Mental Game DVD Series
• Two new styles of Zen Golf Caps
• Gift Certificates for Phone Lessons with Dr. Joe. The story at the start of this newsletter shows a good reason they are becoming so popular.
Dr. Joe’s Sept/Oct Appearances
Peter Kessler had two more great interviews with Dr. Joe on his show “At The Turn” on XM Radio. One was last month, talking about the PGA Championship at Southern Hills. On September 18th they discussed Tiger’s performance at The Tour Championship. They’ll be on the air together again to talk about the President’s Cup, on Oct. 2 8:30 AM (approx) Eastern time.
Doc will be welcoming GOLF Magazine’s editor-at-large Connell Barrett to the Ojai Valley Inn on September 24-25 for a Zen Golf coaching session that will become a feature article. We’ll let you know the issue it will be in.
In October, Doc will be doing corporate talks and golf outings in Washington DC, Indian Wells/La Quinta, and Carlsbad, CA, in addition to the Zen Golf Academy at the Ojai Valley Inn on the 13-14.
Tournament Notes: The PGA Championship and the Playoffs for the FedEx Cup
PGA Championship at Southern Hills
Tiger is back on track to being the first PGA Professional to win 20 Majors. In my interview with Peter Kessler after the PGA, he asked me, “Why is Tiger so good at holding a lead?”
Tiger does what Jack was so good at: Having a number in mind, sensing what is going to be the winning score. Tiger figured he needed 68 to win, one-under-par a side. Knowing how the course is playing, and how his opponents are playing, allows him to manage his game to minimize risk and capitalize on opportunity.
I told Peter that I liked the “Tiger Twirl” when he hits one the way he likes to, especially off the tee. It’s a silent compliment to himself, reinforcing his self-confidence. (That was echoed by Johnny Miller at another tournament, when Sergio hit a tough shot, hooked around trees from deep rough. As it came out, he said, “How good is that!” complimenting himself. Miller said he really liked to hear that. “You have to enjoy your good ones. You gotta enjoy your good shots. Don’t say, it’s about time.”)
Peter asked, “What makes Tiger so good at course management?” I said that I think he’s getting better at how to play the game, with a breakthrough at the ’06 British Open, at Hoylake. When the driver wasn’t working, he was willing to concede yardage to other players, and still won decisively. At that point he realized he could just play what was working best for him that week. That’s managing your game in synch with managing the course.
Deutsche Bank Championship at Boston TPC
In the final round there was a challenging ruling for the leader on the second hole. No one could tell if Brett Wetterich’s ball crossed the hazard and bounced back in, or didn’t make it across. The Rules of Golf say if in doubt, take it back rather than taking the better drop near the green. Wetterich did. He made bogey, versus probable birdie with the better drop, and lost the tournament by two shots. It was the right thing to do, and it will repay him over the years in peace of mind and reputation as a stand-up guy.
Fast forward to the 12th hole – how could Phil go for the pin, so close to the hazard, with a three shot lead over Oberholser, and five over Tiger? People love Phil’s crash and burn golf, but it gives a mental game coach indigestion.
Phil played great. He commented on the fact that he went to the Red Sox game Saturday night, when a rookie pitched the only rookie no-hitter in Red Sox history. The focus and intensity and enthusiasm was inspiring to him. To his credit, Phil bounced back after the mistake on 12, stepped his game up and answered Tiger’s challenge.
BMW Championship at Cog Hill
Tiger was putting on 17 with a two shot lead, still grinding. Johnny commented that it was like he does on every putt – he’s said his intention is to give 100% on every shot.
This putt broke more than Tiger expected. As in the chapter Perpendicular Putts in Zen Putting, he could have learned from Justin Rose’ putt coming up well short, meaning the putt was more uphill than it looked, and therefore Tiger’s putt would break more to the left than it looked. That’s what happened.
Tiger’s telling comment on his putting – “once I got a feel for the pace of the greens, I could see my lines better.” If you have a good sense of the pace, it’s easier to imagine the path the ball needs to take to end up in the hole.
Observations on Aaron Baddeley’s short game:
He plays every chip shot with 60-degree wedge. He was taught by David Leadbetter; Short Game Guru Dave Pelz, on the other hand, advocates a different approach of using multiple wedges and irons for chipping. I suggest that golfers try both styles, and see what makes them most comfortable and gives the best results.
Baddeley’s highly effective putting style (4th in putts per round, 10th in putting average for 2007): visualizes the path, takes a softening waggle from a few paces behind ball while looking down the path, closes eyes and recalls the visualization, then walks into address, sets putter behind the ball (no practice strokes), takes one look and when his eyes get back to the ball he starts the backswing. I like the flow.
Johnny Miller mentioned several times that when you are between clubs, choose the longer club and try to take something off of it, often the grip loosens or the body doesn’t turn as much, and the ball goes left (and often long). Happened to Woods, Stricker, and Baddeley in the final round.
Tour Championship at East Lake
Tiger’s run of 5 birdies and an eagle, capping off a second round front nine 28, with 5 putts in last 6 holes, was put into perspective by Nick Faldo:
“There’s an air about him, unbelievable self-confidence, belief in himself and his game … in a complete Zone. Dangerous thing is: He knows what he’s doing. This is not a fluke, one of those days. There’s something happening, how it turns out is not a guess. He’s just looking at it, seeing it, feeling it, doing it and it’s happening. Boom.
He’s a man in Zen-quility mode.”
(and thanks, Nick for including the Zen aspect)
On Zach Johnson shooting 60 – he said playing with Ernie and his smooth tempo made it easy for Zach to keep a smooth tempo. Miller commented that when he shot 61 two weeks in a row, both times he was playing with Gene Littler, the smoothest swinger of the era. Tempo is generally the biggest factor in playing up to your capability.
Note about shotmaking – it’s good chipping, approach shots and short putting that get you the better score, not long putts. In the third round, Tiger shot 64 without making any putts longer than 8 feet.
Tiger’s comments on his 28: “I didn’t know until I got in the scoring tent. You just play shot for shot, hole for hole, and you just get lost into that type of rhythm, and you don’t really realize the score you’re at.”
That’s my wish for golfers, to play golf instead of obsessing over score before the round is over. Clearly, the scoreboard would have come into play if it were the back nine on Sunday. But until then, he was just golfing his ball.
© 2007 Dr. Joseph Parent
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Yours in Clarity, Commitment, and Composure,
Zen Golf International