Twice in the past month, two players have broken 60 on the PGA Tour. Paul Goydos at the TPC at Deere Run shot a 12 under 59 in round one at the John Deere Classic and Stuart Appleby shot an 11 under 59 in the 4th round at the Greenbrier Classic last week.
There have also been a large number of sub 65 rounds, including Rory McIlroy’s 63 on day one of the Open Championship last month. How and why is this happening? There are numerous reasons, some routinely and obsessively discussed (club and ball technology), some regularly discussed (fitness and athleticism of the players), and some rarely discussed (agronomy and marketing). I’ll briefly touch on all of these, with special emphasis on the less commonly talked about factors, and include my thoughts on whether “classic” courses are becoming obsolete, and people’s strange obsession with par.
We all know how (in our lives) one bad decision can breed others, or how one small white lie can lead to more & bigger ones. Such is true in the golf swing. One minor flaw in any of the core fundamentals will only compound and grow as you swing the club. This is the snowball effect—think of the cartoons of the snowball rolling down a hill getting bigger and bigger as it continues to roll. The problem (both snowball and golf swing) gets bigger and bigger the farther it goes.
“Why am I not getting any better?” This is a question asked by golfers since the first game was played. We should take a look at how we learn, and the psychology of learning that applies to all tasks, including golf. Believe it or not, but there are only two ways that humans learn things–instruction and repetition. Unfortunately, there are no ways around this. (Despite the nearly unlimited number of quick fixes out there, like “learn a foreign language in one weekend”, and “buy this club and take six strokes off your game.” You get the idea.) If you think I’m crazy, I’ll get you two examples to prove my point.
As 2011 approaches and we look forward to another golf season, here are a few resolutions that (based on experience) will surely be broken before I make the turn during my first round, along with some instructional commentary to help you keep your resolutions intact for the entire year.
1. I resolve to not make stupid mental mistakes on the course. These include going after sucker pins, leaving makeable putts short, attempting high risk / low reward shots, nor will I attempt any shot that I have not practiced since the George H.W. Bush Administration. (You’re going to make some physical mistake and hit bad shots, that’s a given. But the mental mistakes are completely preventable and the most infuriating.)
It happens every year at this time; we all procrastinate and then scramble for Christmas gifts for friends, family, and colleagues. And there is no shortage of gift ideas for the golfer on your list. And while a gift card to Golf Galaxy will certainly be used, there are more unique, thoughtful, and inexpensive ideas that will make a lasting impression for your favorite golfer, or at least earn you some points with your boss or father-in-law.
I frequently hear golf commentators on TV mention that “nerves” are getting to a player and causing bad shots. Is this true? Does it happen to you? It’s a hard question to answer, and asking players directly usually doesn’t help. Most players won’t admit to their nerves until well after the fact, but every golfer has experienced nervous pressure at one time or another. From the first time playing with your boss or father-in-law, to your first birdie or eagle putt, to breaking 100, 90, 80, or 70 for the first time, to winning the Masters, every player will be nervous at some point on the golf course. If you don’t get nervous, you likely don’t care about the results.
Al Czervik is no fool. He’s made enough money to hang out at Bushwood all day, so he’s doing something right. Like anyone who grew up around the game, I’ve watched Caddyshack a few hundred times. And as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized how smart Al Czervik is. Here are a couple examples:
"Hello. It's my broker. What? Then buy, buy, buy! Oh, everyone's buying? Then sell, sell, sell!"—Don’t be a lemming. Don’t follow the herd. It’s no secret that to make money you have to buy low and sell high. But it’s also no secret that most people that follow the crowds do exactly the opposite. Be a contrarian—when everyone is running for the exit, that’s the time to get in. The herd is usually wrong and usually late.
Welcome to the New FixYourGame.com! (Dare we say, FixYourGame.com 2.0?)
First of all, we’d like to thank all of our past, current, and future students who have already used FixYourGame.com for their support of our unique, Internet-based golf instruction concept. Because you’re reading this, you’ve found your way to our newly designed website. This new site is a major improvement over the previous site in both aesthetics, and functionality. Here is a brief overview of the changes with the new site. As always, feel free to email us at info@FixYourGame.com, and be sure to check out our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/fixyourgame), and our Twitter page (@FixYourGamecom).