So here goes, LOW SCORING and Low scoring MENTALITY
Over the past weeks across the professional tours there have been a number of very low scores – Jim Furyk has shot 59 and 58 in the past 2 years. Thomas Deitry Shoots -12 in the first round of a challenge tour event and continues to go -29 for the 4 round tournament (of which I was been informed by some of my pals playing that th greens were not the best). Tom Lewis recently got it to -12 early in 1st round of the made in Denmark european tour event (although he didn’t finish with the magical 59 this was still a highly commendable run of golf)
This has made me think about how golf is evolving and made me look at the mental aspect as much as the physical aspect it requires to do this.
Physically we hear all the talk of the equipment and guys getting stronger, I agree to an extent that this is having a bearing, but wait a minute…. Jim Furyk, the Veteran, non muscle bound guy, who has not grown up with the influence of all the modern and innovative coaching that we are now so fortunate to have at our finger tis via social networks, and lets face it, is renowned as one of the shorter hitters that reside at the top of the game. I have heard that Thomas Dierty from Belgium is of the Thomas Pieters Mold and is big, lean, powerful and hits its miles.. maybe its something in the water, as the 3 Belgium players I can name are all bombers – Nicolas ‘the dude’ Colsaerts, Thomas Pieters (recently shot 62 playing alongside Ryder Cup Captain) and now Thomas deitry.. lets come back to that in another post.
So back to Jim Furyk….. Major winner, and winner of 27 other titles worldwide and golfing cash machine massing in excess of 60 million dollars on course, this guy hits it short by modern standards. lets forget for now that people say he has an unorthodox swing, I do not care for orthodox anymore, just functional. JF exudes magnificent control of the golf ball, including moving the ball both ways and controlling his trajectory amazingly. He putts well (again not in an orthodox manner) and clearly has a tidy short game and is good with a wedge. IMO he has every physical aspect that you can desire except length.
Now onto the mental aspect. Now he is clearly a man that is good under pressure and knows how to win. Sure he would have picked up tools and techniques along the way, but the guy is a winner by choice. He puts in the work, and makes good decisions, he even after winning millions of dollars and becoming a major champion, decided to enlist the help of the God father of golf mental gurus Dr Bob Rotella a few years ago, because he said he felt he wasn’t finishing of his rounds properly – now wait a minute…… there is a question – “How do I close out my rounds better?” well what ever they worked on and discussed/implemented has clearly work wonders!
Having shot reasonably low scores in the past (never mega low( lowest in tournament is a -9 once and a few -8) there is an art to shooting low. One of my close friends James Heath is someone who has this in his tank and is someone who I once asked how do you shoot low or keeping going when you can feel a good round coming…. His answer was to just notice what is happening and even notice the non golf related things going on around you like the wind and noises around the golf course in between shots. It was a strange answer, but if you know James there is ALWAYS a method to his madness 😉
The other part of this mental challenge depends slightly on how the low score is formed. Have you holed out from the fairway, chipped in, playing flawless golf, getting lucky, holing massive putts or hitting it close every hole. Lets face it there is likely to have an element of all these aspects, but for me there is a stubbornness that goes hand in hand with good scoring. Stubbornness not to be amazed by yourself, to want more, to not be satisfied. A pro from my region of the country Hogan Stott was renowned for having numerous course records, and when I was 13-14 years old I had the pleasure of playing with him in a pro am, I say pleasure, he was not overly chatty (not rude) and kept himself to himself. That didn’t bother me as I was aware of who he was and wanted to see how he hit it, not if he was a nice guy or not. That day he shot around par and didn’t shoot the course record I was hoping to see, but after the round I asked him what he thought when he was playing and scoring, I remember it clearly – “When I am level, I want to get to -1, then when I get to -1 I want to get to -2, then when I get to -6 I want to get to -7” simple, to the point and about as much conversation had had with him all day!
Even to this day I am grateful for that information as it was an early insight on what it takes to score low. When I have had good rounds going and not finished them off its been via that lack of stubbornness of keeping it simple and being stubborn about having any care for the result because all that I can do is deal with NOW…. “I am -1, I want to get to -2” and so on and so on. If I am honest my biggest mistakes in golf have come from not being stubborn enough, which is odd as my wife can verify my stubborn nature!
So what is my recipe for low scores –
Put those 3 together and there is a chance for a low number!