Just Phil Being Phil - 2013 Open Champion at Muirfield


Posted by Dexter Francois | Posted in , , , , | Posted on Monday, July 22, 2013

Phil Mickelson is in the winners circle for the second week in a row after a brilliant final round to win the 2013 Open Championship held at Murfield. As the rest of the field scratched their heads on how to play the extremely fast greens, Phil hit shots that defied the imagination.

Phil is one of those players who will always go for broke. If there is a chance he can reach a green when every other player would lay up, he's going to go for it. He may be the gutsiest player currently on the PGA Tour.

His maverick style of play has thrilled us all but it has also left us as fans shaking our heads as to why he would try to pull off some of the shots he attempts. But that is why we love Phil. This is why we go to the golf course and try to pull off the same shots. This is why golfers play the game. It may not always be the smartest way to play but it definitely makes a round more exciting.

Here's the thing about Phil. When we try to pull off the impossible shot, it is probably our first time trying that shot. Phil puts himself in situations during practice rounds that have him ready for the moment if it arises. Phil and caddy Jim "Bones" MacKay walk every inch of the course, throw down balls in awkward positions and lies, and then have at it. Some of these shots may never come up during a round but if it does, he prepared.

The following video clip gives us a glimpse into the mindset of Phil as he prepares for a round. I've seen him attempt (and pull off) this shot before, but the fact that he doing it during a practice round proves that he leaves no stone unturned. I've tried this shot and have been very unsuccessful every time. There's a reason why we say, "These guys are good."

Photo found here.

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The Rugged Outdoor Woman


Posted by Dexter Francois | Posted on Tuesday, June 18, 2013

I received this little gem in my email the other day. Thanks Larry.

The Rugged Outdoor Woman:

During her physical examination , a doctor asked a retired woman about her physical activity level. The woman said she spent 3 days a week, every week in the outdoors.

"Well, yesterday afternoon was typical; I took a five hour walk about 7 miles through some pretty rough terrain. I waded along the edge of a lake. I pushed my way through two miles of bramble. I got sand in my shoes and in my eyes. I barely avoided stepping on a snake. I climbed several rocky hills. I went to the bathroom behind some big tree. I ran away from an irate bear and one angry elk. The mental stress of it all left me shattered. At the end of it, I drank a scotch and three glasses of wine.

Amazed by the story, the doctor said, "You must be one heck of an outdoors woman!"
"No," the woman replied, "I'm just a really, really horrible golfer."

Photo found here.
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KOOOOOOOCH!!! Matt Kuchar...Positively Consistent


Posted by Dexter Francois | Posted in , , , | Posted on Sunday, June 2, 2013

Matt Kuchar is quickly becoming one of my favorite players on the PGA Tour. He may be bit bland. He may be a little goofy with his signature ball between index and middle finger wave and silly smile that never seems to leave his face. There is nothing about him that screams "look at me" like the colorful attire of the Rickie Fowlers and Ian Poulters of the golfing world. But after notching his sixth win at The Memorial, his first major win may be right around the corner.

Kuchar persevered on a course which humbled many of the game's top performers. World's #1, Tiger Woods, shot a 44 on the back nine on Saturday. His highest since turning professional. World's #2, Rory McIlroy, struggled just to make the cut. Muirfield Village Golf Course is one of the toughest tests in golf, and if this weekend is any indication of what is to come in two weeks at Merion Golf Club for the playing of the 113th U.S. Open, the Georgia resident is high on my list as one of the favorites.

The now six time PGA Tour winner does not have the text book swing that is being taught today, but as Golf Digest said in an article back in June of 2011, his swing is consistent and repeatable. Being that I have an unorthodox swing myself, I can relate to trying to own my swing as Kuchar has. Every swing is different. Finding a way to get the desired results consistently is our challenge.

The following video is on how to hit a better pitch shot. This tip is one that I can benefit from since I struggle with greens in regulation. The tip about pitching is great but what his father speaks to is what really got my attention.

He and Kuchar discuss visualizing the shot and going to a place that you have been to before. They advise us to remember a time when you were in a similar position and you executed the shot perfectly. We need to have this picture in our minds and then make it happen. I hit a lot of bad shots but I have also hit a lot of good shots that I can draw upon to put me in a positive state of mind.

This is not new to golf. It has been said many times by many instructors, but all of it usually goes out the door after hitting that first bad shot. So for me, I guess in order for me to gain consistency with my golf swing, I need to to be consistent with my thoughts as well.

Try it out. See if it helps you. I'll give updates after I have given it a go for few rounds. Feel free to share any techniques that you use to put yourself in positive mind frame on the golf course. This game is challenging enough. We need to give ourselves any advantage we can. Have a great round and always hit your target.

Photo found here

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All Play And No Practice


Posted by Dexter Francois | Posted in , , , | Posted on Wednesday, May 29, 2013

As we all know, golf is not an easy sport. What makes it worse, is that we as amateurs, tend to make it even harder than it has to be. Without steady practice, it is difficult to make drastic improvements. Such is the current state of my golf game. I'm not getting any worse, but I'm also not getting any better.

My schedule has it that I am not able to practice as much as I would like to. I still play at least two times a week, but the time I used to put into my game is not what it used to be. It is rare that I even warm up before a round. For me, it's from the car to the first tee with just a few stretches in between.

I am currently trending at a handicap of 7.3, which is great, but I want to go even lower. Having coached basketball at the college level, I of all people understand how important practice is to improving ones skill in any given sport. With golf being a game of inches, a week of no practice sets a golfer back 3 months.

Looking at my last few rounds, it is quite evident that I would benefit from at least twenty minutes of warm up. In a recent round at Club West Golf Club, I shot a nine over 45 on the front nine, but followed it up with a three over 39 on the back for an 84. The round prior to this one at Ken McDonald Golf Course saw me shoot a four over 40 on the front with a two over 38 on the back for a 78. The point is, it usually takes me nine holes to warm up before I start to see a little consistency in my swing.

The only aspect of my game that is keeping me from shooting in the 90's is my short game. I still struggle with my greens in regulation, but am able to get up and down at a rate of about fifty percent. Also my putting has improved dramatically, eliminating many of the three putts which used to sneak into my rounds. I'll let you know how I improved my putting in a future post.

The bottom line is that I need to find a way to sneak in some more practice or else frustration will start to set in as it did during my round today at Lone Tree Golf Club. I never throw tantrums on the golf course(see video for some classics), but I definitely thought about throwing my pitching wedge into the water after a terrible tee shot on a short par 3. I shot a 43 on the front but thanks to a chip in birdie on the par 4 10th and a thirty foot birdie putt on the par 5 18th, I was able to salvage an 82 shooting a 39 on the back.

Getting off to a good start to begin a round will make all the differences in lowering my handicap. I set a goal of getting down to a 5 but it's not going to happen if I continue showing up to the course right at tee time. I just need to get those bad shots out of my system before I step up for my first drive. If I can be consistent with this, par to the course on a regular basis will soon follow...Hopefully...Have a great round and always hit your target.

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