Connect with us
Advertisement

Opinion & Analysis

12 reasons serious golfers don’t realize their potential

Published

on

What stops serious golfers from realizing their potential? If you are an amateur who wants to get better, a young player trying to achieve more, or a young professional with big dreams, this article is for you.

I’ve made a career out of helping athletes maximize their abilities, golfers in particular. And the things I see young playing professionals doing prior to our work together is often what is holding them back. The reality is that most young players, no matter what their level, have three key problems:

  1. They’re distracted by what’s not important
  2. They have no detailed structure and plan to reach the targets they determine are important to them
  3. They have no formal process to develop mindset and attitude

In the list below, I share what I see working with these young players and some common blind spots.

1. No real plan and steps to achieve targets

Most players do not know how to create a long-term and short-term plan that outlines all steps needed to reach targets. Players should have yearly plans with targets, steps and actions and weekly plans to organize/schedule their time and prioritize key needs.

2. Not focused enough on the object of the game

This goes hand in hand with No. 1. Surprisingly, players seem to forget that the object of the game is get the ball in the hole in the least amount of strokes. Trophies and checks are not issued for the best swing, the best putting stroke or most balls hit.

3. Not enough pressure in practice

Most young players have loose practice. The intensity of feelings between the practice tee and the course are too different. Focus and intensity must be a part of all practice. Add competition and outcomes to sessions so some urgency is created.

4. Too much practice time on full swing

The data is clear — most shots in golf happen from 100 yards and in from the green. If the majority of practice time is not spent on these shorter shots, practice time is wasted.

5. An obsession with the look of the swing

Players are not generally prepared to own their own swings and embrace the differences that make them unique. Obsessing over swing mechanics is a major distraction for many players. Many players convince themselves that if it doesn’t look “good” on their iPhone, their swing won’t get results.

6. No structure with the driver

Since scoring is the main goal, a consistent, reliable shape to each shot is important. My experience has been that if players are trying to go both ways with the driver, that is a sure-fire way to elevate numbers on the card. Pick a shape and eliminate one side of the course. Predictability from the tee increases a player’s confidence to put the ball in the fairway more often, creating more opportunities to score.

7. Expectation that they will hit the ball well everyday

Many players have the unreasonable expectation that they will hit lots of fairways and greens every time they play. This expectation leads to constant disappointment in their game. Knowing that the leading professionals in the game average about 60.6 percent driving accuracy and 11.8 greens in regulation per round should be a good benchmark for the expectations of all players.

8. Trying to be too robotic and precise in putting

Some players get so caught up in the mechanics of putting that their approach becomes too robotic. They become obsessed with precision and being perfect. Feel, flow and instinct have to be a central part of putting. This can get lost in an overly robotic mindset trying to be too precise and perfect.

9. No process for assessment and reflection

Players do not have a formal process for assessing practice or rounds and reflecting on the experience. The right lessons are not consistently taken away to ensure step-by-step improvement. Knowing how to assess practice, play and ask the right questions is key to development.

10. Getting in their own way

The voice inside of most young players’ heads is not helpful for their performance. It’s often a negative, demanding voice that insists on perfection. This voice leads to hesitation, frustration and anger. The voice must be shaped (with practice) into the right “emotional caddie” to support efforts and promote excellence over perfection.

11. A focus on the negative before the positive

A default to the mistakes/flaws in the round before looking at the highlights and what worked. When asked about their round, most players highlight three-putts, penalty shots and any errors before anything else. Emphasis should always be on what went well first. Refection on what needs improvement is second.

12. The blame game

Young players love excuses. Course conditions, weather, coaching and equipment are a few of the areas that are often targets, deflecting responsibility away from the player. Many players do not take full responsibility for their own game and/or careers.

I hope this provides some insights on roadblocks that could get in your way on the path to reaching your targets in the game. Whether it’s lowering your handicap, winning a junior tournament, working toward the PGA Tour — or just general improvement — considering these observations might help you shorten the road to get there.

Your Reaction?
  • 837
  • LEGIT125
  • WOW24
  • LOL7
  • IDHT14
  • FLOP8
  • OB3
  • SHANK29

John Haime is the President of New Edge Performance. He's a Human Performance Coach who prepares performers to be the their best by helping them tap into the elusive 10 percent of their abilities that will get them to the top. This is something that anyone with a goal craves, and John Haime knows how to get performers there. John closes the gap for performers in sports and business by taking them from where they currently are to where they want to go.  The best in the world trust John. They choose him because he doesn’t just talk about the world of high performance – he has lived it and lives in it everyday. He is a former Tournament Professional Golfer with professional wins. He has a best-selling book, “You are a Contender,” which is widely read by world-class athletes, coaches and business performers.  He has worked around the globe for some of the world’s leading companies. Athlete clients include performers who regularly rank in the Top-50 in their respective sports. John has the rare ability to work as seamlessly in the world of professional sports as he does in the world of corporate performance. His primary ambition writing for GolfWRX is to help you become the golfer you'd like to be. See www.johnhaime.com for more. Email: john@newedgeperformance.org

30 Comments

30 Comments

  1. Frank

    May 7, 2018 at 3:45 pm

    How about just one reason: not enough money.

  2. Johnny Penso

    May 3, 2018 at 8:42 pm

    3. and 4. have always been important to me but even moreso this year. I’m no longer running through clubs in my bag from wedges to woods but sticking with 1 or 2 irons, a hybrid and a driver or wood. Practice hitting targets and creating the shots you need to play well. One of my favourite ways to practice hit the par 4 and par 5 teeshots I have to make on each hole of a course I’m going to play on the weekend. Pressure is on to move it left to right, right to left, high or low, a stinger etc. Just blasting the driver and watching the shot is a waste of time for anything other than warming up. Same with the wedges. Pick some targets and hit shots to the target. 5 to this flag high, then 5 low etc.

  3. Dee Mac

    May 3, 2018 at 2:23 am

    Whether I win or lose today is important, but not as important as what I’ve learned from the game today that will make me a better golfer tomorrow. In a paradoxical way losing today will do more to help me be a better golfer tomorrow then if I’d won. Losing will expose more opportunities for improvement then if I’d won.
    Golf as a “game” is a subset of golf as a “process.”

  4. Thirdy8special

    Apr 19, 2018 at 9:27 pm

    I agree with what he is saying on shot shape. Know how to hit both but stick with one shot for most, hit the green and 2 putt and everyone will be shooting in the 70s pretty fast.

  5. Nic

    Apr 18, 2018 at 11:09 pm

    Best article so far this year on this site.

  6. millennial82

    Apr 18, 2018 at 6:59 pm

    Hi John, this was such a good read.. Could you please write and article about how to make a plan to lower your handicap for different handicaps?

    if you could give us a break down on the road to success? I’m sure 30 handicaps- need to practice full swing contact with the ball.. 18’s- short game.. 10 and under- mental/ family/ work lol.

    • david

      Apr 20, 2018 at 10:32 am

      Nice effort millennial82, the problem is 98% of readers will NOT follow a plan. I know, I teach golf!

      • lulu

        Apr 20, 2018 at 3:32 pm

        ‘Commitment’ is not in the vocabulary of most rec golfers …. only ‘fun’ and socializing with your equally decrepit golffing buddies… yo man, great shot …

  7. Frank McChrystal

    Apr 18, 2018 at 3:11 pm

    The brain science of the past 10 – 15 years confirms the fact that chasing the perfect swing produces a high maintenance motion that actually picks a fight with the body’s will to be well. There are valid reasons why no two swings in the hall of fame are exactly alike. Your personal swing will serve you far better during competition than some perceived “perfect swing” you so brilliantly puppeteer on the range. There is a level of golf you have not experienced yet and it is not because of a lack of effort, it was pre determined by the era in which you were born. An entire generation accepts two or three errant drives and semi accurate approach shots as normal, relying on endless hours of short game practice to salvage scores. This joyless golf is the direct result of the “modern” instruction of the past 30 years. Relaxed concentration is never instinctive when you live the drudge of russian roulette every round, and no amount of “mental game” jargon spawned in the 70’s will ever change that. It is the instinctive beast that rules the athletic world, not the stressed out puppeteer. Do you think it is coincidence that chiropractors and mental game coaches arrived on the scene at about the same time?

  8. John Haime

    Apr 18, 2018 at 2:33 pm

    Hi Everyone – thank-you for your comments. As a complement to this article, you might be interested in an article I wrote for GolfWRX last month highlighting how we work with a young, up and coming player early in the year and the areas we focus on. The mental/emotional piece is woven through these areas to help them process the game well. Here’s the link – http://www.golfwrx.com/487194/either-plan-for-excellence-or-underachieve/.

    Thank-you again for your attention to the articles – great comments.

    • steve

      Apr 18, 2018 at 3:02 pm

      Great article on the 12 “roadblocks”, and I’ll just repeat my comment from your previous article here:
      Without structure and a customized plan, their careers become a hit-and-hope scenario, potentially leading to long stints on the mini-tours and frivolously throwing sponsor money into the wind.”
      This is such a telling comment (from your previous article) on the arrested mentality of most aspiring young players. Unfortunately, most are immature mentally and physically regardless of their playing ability. They cannot discipline themselves because they have a childish approach to the game and career. They play for fun and practice becomes a painful experience. Only those with an obsessive-compulsive mentality and proper mentoring and training can succeed. They are few.

  9. PSG

    Apr 18, 2018 at 2:20 pm

    Ugh. Not another one of you. Yeah, most shots happen within 100 yards, but most of them have pre-determined outcomes. Unless you are actually advocating that players practice tap-in putts, the average good players round has WAY more shots outside 100 yards (since they miss putts by so little).

    The rest of the article was good. The “the data is clear…” part was absolute nonsense.

    • John Haime

      Apr 18, 2018 at 2:46 pm

      good comment PSG – agreed that a poor player must focus more on long game. It’s pretty clear that if a player can’t get to 100 yds from the green – there’s not much point in excelling in that area. The better the player the more the short game becomes critical to success and the outcome.

      • Doug

        May 7, 2018 at 4:16 pm

        You really need to read Mark Broadie’s “Every Shot Counts.” You’re harboring some misconceptions about the relative importance of the short and long game at all skill levels. It hurts your credibility to be this off in an area.

  10. Michael Riechmann

    Apr 18, 2018 at 2:06 pm

    Number 6 hurts so bad you don’t even know … And it all started with improving my ability to work it both ways … I’m just scared to play a controlled hook allah Patrick Reed when I hit a fade with every other club in my bag …

  11. Zach

    Apr 18, 2018 at 1:08 pm

    I agree very much with points 4 and 5. When I am on the range you can look down and notice most people full swinging and trying to mimic swings their body cannot produce.

    The only positive, it helps me secure more students.

  12. Sup

    Apr 18, 2018 at 1:06 pm

    You missed the most important thing:
    SUPPORT.
    From your family and friends. Without support, there is nothing. You won’t get anywhere by yourself. You need a team with you at all times.
    Team to manage your time, to manage your food, to manage your tee times, to manage your practice, to manage your money, to manage your life.
    Any decent player has game. But without the support around him/her, you can’t take it to the next level.

    • Largechris

      Apr 18, 2018 at 2:31 pm

      Lol nonsense. How much support did Vijay Singh have in the jungles of Borneo as a young pro. Or Sorentram in the snow in Sweden. Or Woosnam living out of a caravan and building power by thousands of hours swinging in long meadow grass. It’s either in you or it’s not.

      • Sup

        Apr 19, 2018 at 11:34 am

        Is that why you still can’t play? You know about being alone, huh, you a loner and all, no friends, no family, you know it well lol

    • Andrew Cooper

      Apr 20, 2018 at 8:55 am

      If a player is good enough, physically and mentally, he or she will get there regardless of support. In fact the best get there often because they have the inner belief, borderline arrogance, to do it their way, not someone else’s way. They take responsibility, they don’t need someone holding their hand, or someone to blame when they play poorly. Not to criticise the author or this article, which is excellent, but if a young player is relying on a coach to structure their practice routines, or a mental coach to tell them to stay positive etc., then they’ve got a long way to go. Not to say that they can’t improve, but winners are simply cut from different cloth.

  13. Joe

    Apr 18, 2018 at 12:39 pm

    I agree with many of these points. I know my practice routine is not at all like my rounds. great things to think about.

  14. Steve Patterson

    Apr 18, 2018 at 12:36 pm

    Great article. Thanks so much for providing this information as I believe every golfer can find at least one aspect of your information to improve upon.

  15. stephenf

    Apr 18, 2018 at 12:22 pm

    Well, how about that. Every bit of this is actually excellent. #2 through #8 are particularly good, but I hate to single out any of them, really. Worth saving and going back to.

    One caveat: There’s some disagreement about #12. Some psychologists see a certain amount of blaming conditions, equipment, lies, weather, etc., as a useful device as a temporary buffer against the erosion of confidence after a tough round. I’m not sure I ever bought this either, but some pretty reputable people do. The idea is that it takes the immediate sting out of the deal, and if the player comes back in a day or two to work on whatever part of it actually _was_ his responsibility, the “blame” thing was never more than just a temporary device. I would think that if you were going to do some real research on the matter, you’d probably find that it depends on whether the blaming was at least partially true, what the specific player’s personality and orientation are like with regard to how well he can handle honest and direct self-evaluation in general, etc.

    • stephenf

      Apr 18, 2018 at 12:28 pm

      Also: Golf Digest (or maybe it was Golf Magazine) did an article quite a few years ago — pre-internet, I think — advising players to test and measure progress in practice: pick out a “fairway” on the range (between these two yardage signs, between the sign and the fence, whatever) and see how many out of 20 you could hit; keep track of how many times you were up and down in two from greenside or a practice bunker; how many putts you were making from three feet or six feet in a circle (maybe five balls at a time in a circle) around a hole with slope; etc.

      It’s the same kind of thing advocated here with regard to specific goals. Seems so simple that of course anybody interested in actually improving would do it, but almost nobody does.

  16. Bones Mackay

    Apr 18, 2018 at 11:24 am

    Pretty good overall but I have a couple of issues with 4 and 5.

    On #4 – Strokes gained has shown that driving and approach shots are a good predictor of performance over a longer period of time and are much more influential than SG around the green. You may get small gains from improving short game, but it won’t be as big as if you improve off the tee and on your approach shots.

    On #5 – Working on swing mechanics (assuming you’re working on the right stuff) can lead to improved ball striking and influence SG off the tee and approach.

  17. 2putttom

    Apr 18, 2018 at 10:51 am

    this is all too much to think about my moto keep it simple.

    • Miles M.

      Apr 18, 2018 at 11:53 am

      I think John is right on with this article. I played at a top-ranked DII school and I only found out most of what this article stated much too late in my process. This should be printed and taped above the bed for any young player who is serious and aspires to the PGA Tour.

    • Tycoo

      Apr 18, 2018 at 12:17 pm

      I don’t think it’s too much to think about . Players focus too much on how their swing looks as opposed to embracing their swing . Many of these points can be applied to every day life . There are a lot of haters on this site . It gets rediculous reading negative comments on an editor that is trying to help golfers stay positive .

    • steve

      Apr 19, 2018 at 5:16 pm

      When you are swinging a golf club you must not “think”, you must execute automatically. How do you do that? Lots of practice off the golf course.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Podcasts

TG2: What’s it like to caddie for Rory? GolfWRX Forum Member shares his experience

Published

on

Marine and GolfWRX forum member “djfalcone” explains the story of how he got to caddie for Rory McIlroy and Johnny Vegas through the Birdies for the Brave program, and how knowledgable Rory is about his equipment. Make sure to check out his full forum thread here.

Listen to our full podcast below, or click here to listen on iTunes!

Your Reaction?
  • 1
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL1
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP1
  • OB1
  • SHANK2

Continue Reading

Opinion & Analysis

An early look at the potential U.S. Ryder Cup Team

Published

on

With the Masters and the Players Championship complete, I wanted to examine the statistics of the current leaders in Ryder Cup Points for the U.S. Team. Over the history of the Ryder Cup, the U.S. Team has relied on pairings that were friends and practice-round companions instead of pairing players that were more compatible from a statistical standpoint. This has led to disappointing performances from the U.S. Team and top players such as Jim Furyk performing poorly at the Ryder Cup, as he is ill-suited for the Fourball format.

After a disastrous 2014 Ryder Cup where the U.S. Team lost by a score of 16.5-11.5, the U.S. decided to use a more statistical approach to Ryder Cup play. According to my calculations, the 2016 U.S. Team’s pairings were the closest to optimal that the U.S. Team has compiled in the last seven Ryder Cups. And not surprisingly, the U.S. Team won 17-11 over the Europeans.

Since there are several months to go before the Ryder Cup, I won’t get too much into potential pairings in this article. Instead, I will focus more on the current games of top-12 players in U.S. Ryder Cup Points Standings and how that translates to Ryder Cup performance.

About the Ryder Cup Format

In the Ryder Cup, there is the Foursome format (alternate shot) and the Fourball format (best score). There are distinctly different metrics in the game that correlate to quality performers in each format.

In the Foursome format, short game around the green performance is usually critical. In a typical stroke play event such as The Players Championship, short game around the green performance usually has a much smaller impact on player’s performance. But in a match play, alternate-shot format the opposite has been true. My conclusion is that with the alternate-shot format, more greens in regulation are likely to be missed. The team that can save par and extend holes is usually likely to come out on top. The European team has mostly dominated the U.S. team over the past 20 years in the Foursome format, and the European teams typically are stronger with their short game around the green.

Other factors involved with Foursome play are Red Zone Performance (shots from 175-225 yards) and being able to pair the right players together based on how they each play off the tee and with their approach shots from the rough. For example, a pairing of Phil Mickelson (who misses a lot of fairways) and Zach Johnson (who is not very good from the rough) would likely be a poor pairing.

In the Fourball format (lowest score), the best performers are high birdie makers and players that perform well on the par-4s, par-5s, and par-3s. Bubba Watson makes a lot of birdies and plays the par-4s and par-5s well, thus making him a good candidate for the Fourball format. The only issue with Bubba in the past is he has occasionally struggled on the par-3s. That can be resolved by pairing him with a player who makes a lot of birdies and is a strong performer on the par-3s. The reason for Jim Furyk’s struggles in the Fourball format is that he does not make a lot of birdies and is a merely average performer on the par-5s.

Note: All rankings below are based out of 209 golfers.

1. Patrick Reed

In the past, it has been difficult to get an accurate depiction of Reed’s game. He was notorious for either getting into contention or blowing up if he wasn’t in contention after the first round. He is now far better at avoiding those blowup rounds and remaining competitive regardless of how he well he performs at the beginning of the tournament. His iron play has been excellent, and since he is good on approach shots from the rough, short game around the green and he makes a lot of birdies and plays the par-4s and par-5s well, he should continue to be a great competitor in the Ryder Cup format. Given his inability to find the fairway off the tee, however, I would recommend pairing him with a quality performer from the rough in the alternate shot format.

2. Justin Thomas

On paper, Thomas should be Team USA’s toughest competitor as he has little in the way of holes in his game. He drives it great, hits his irons well from every distance, has a superb short game and can putt. He also makes a ton of birdies, plays every type of hole well and rarely makes bogeys. Like Reed, it would be advisable to pair him with a player that is a quality performer from the rough in the alternate shot format.

3. Dustin Johnson

DJ is the second-strongest performer on paper. The only thing that currently separates Justin Thomas from DJ is their Red Zone play. DJ has typically been a world-class performer from the Red Zone, however, and the data suggests that his ranking from the Red Zone should rapidly improve. He struck it well from the Red Zone in his last two events at Harbour Town Golf Links and TPC Sawgrass. And with his putting performance this season, he could make for a great competitor in this year’s Ryder Cup.

4. Jordan Spieth

Spieth has the metrics to be a strong Ryder Cup performer, as he strikes the ball well with his driver and his irons while having a superb short game around the green. His only weakness in the Fourball format is his performance on the par-3s, but that is due to his inability to make putts from 15-25 feet (198th). That is the crux of the situation for Spieth; can he get his old putting form back?

A look at previous great putters on Tour that inexplicably struggled with their putter shows that Spieth is going about his putting woes the correct way. He’s not making equipment or wholesale changes to his putting stroke. He is continuing to work with what made him a great putter just like Jason Day did last year when he inexplicably struggled with the putter early in the season… and then turned it around and regained his old putting form.

The question is, how long will it take for Spieth to regain his old form? Typically, players like Spieth that have a dramatic drop-off in their putting take about a year to regain their old form. He may not regain that form by the time the Ryder Cup takes place. If he does, Team USA is very strong with its top-4 points earners.

5. Bubba Watson

Bubba is off to a strong enough year to make the U.S. Ryder Cup Team, but the best bet for him is to stick to the Fourball format given his struggles around the green. Watson’s performance on the par-5s has not exactly been remarkable, but typically he’s one of the very best in the world on par-5s and can make a ton of birdies.

6. Rickie Fowler

Fowler has not been as strong in some areas of the game such as Red Zone, shots from the rough and putting as he has been in recent years. That makes him a little less appealing in the alternate shot format, but he still has a solid foundation to be a quality contributor in either format. The upside is if Rickie gets back to his old form with the putter and from the Red Zone, he should be a top-notch Ryder Cup performer because he is well suited to perform in either team format. At this time, he would be best suited to play with an accurate driver and very good performer around the green (i.e. Matt Kuchar) in the alternate shot format.

7. Brooks Koepka

There currently is not enough data on Koepka due to his wrist injury he suffered early in the season. Koepka is arguably the best bomber in the world who is also a great putter and a solid performer from the Red Zone. The main issue for Koepka has been his short game performance around the green. That would typically make for a weak partner in the alternate shot format, but Koepka was spectacular in the 2016 Ryder Cup. His combination of length and putting may make him a formidable Ryder Cup performer for years to come.

8. Phil Mickelson

As a statistical analyst for golf, I never quite know what I’m going to get from Lefty. This season Lefty has putted superbly, but his performance around the green has left a lot to be desired.

In recent Ryder Cups, he has been a quality performer in both the Foursome and Fourball formats. His recent success in the alternate shot format makes him a mandatory candidate, however, his inability to find the fairway means he would need a partner who is very good from the rough. The data suggests that his performance around the green should get closer to his old form as the season goes along.

9. Webb Simpson

Like Mickelson, it’s always a surprise as to what the strengths and weaknesses of Simpson’s game will be by the end of the season. Typically, he’s been a decent driver of the ball that is often a superb iron player and short game performer. With the anchoring ban, he has struggled with the putter up to this season. Lately, he has been an incredible putter that is struggling a bit with the irons.

Most of Simpson’s struggles with the irons have been from the rough, so a partner who finds a lot of fairways off the tee could be an excellent pairing in the foursome format with Simpson.

10. Matt Kuchar

Kuchar could be a very critical player for Team USA down the stretch. There are potential players on the team that could be valuable in the alternate shot format if they can find a teammate to find fairways off the tee to make up for their struggles on approach shots from the rough. Historically, Kuchar has been the most accurate off the tee of the players mentioned thus far.

This season, however, Kuchar has been underwhelming in his ability to find the fairway. The next most-accurate drivers of the ball that are near the top-12 in Ryder Cup points are Brian Harman, Bryson DeChambeau, Kevin Kisner and Andrew Landry, and none of them have nearly the experience in the Ryder Cup as Kuchar has. If Kuchar continues to miss fairways, his chances of making the team are not good unless he’s a Captain’s pick. If he cannot find the fairway, he has little-projected value as a member of the team. He is not making a lot of birdies, and his struggles on the par-3s and does not make him a favorable teammate in the Fourball format either.

11. Brian Harman

Harman’s value is that he has fairly decent Fourball metrics and his accuracy off the tee, putting, and iron play can work well with players like Fowler, Simpson, and Kuchar in the alternate shot format.

Harman has not performed that well from around the green using the Strokes Gained methodology, however; he ranks 15th on shots from 10-20 yards. I placed that metric in there as strokes gained takes into account all shots from less than 30 yards, but 10-20 yards is the most common distance range from which scrambling opportunities occur on Tour. Thus, Harman is an excellent performer from 10-20 yards and is only losing strokes around the green due to poor performance from 20-30 yards, and those shots occur less frequently on Tour. His struggles from 20-30 yards would also explain why his par-5 performance is roughly average, as that is the distance players typically finish from the hole when they go for par-5s in two and do not make the green.

And even though Harman is not very long off the tee (147th in Measured Driving Distance), he is a quality performer from the rough and thus he does not have to be tethered to another short-hitting, accurate driver in the alternate shot format.

12. Bryson DeChambeau

Dechambeau makes for a solid Ryder Cup candidate, as he has no outstanding weaknesses in his game this season as he appears to have rid himself of the putting woes that have hurt him in the past. I think he is better suited for the Fourball format, however, given how many birdies he makes. Pair him with a strong performer on the par-3s like Rickie Fowler or Phil Mickelson and it would make a very formidable duo in that format.

A pairing with Mickelson in the Fourball format would be intriguing given DeChambeau’s excellent driving. DeChambeau could hit first and — if he continues to drive it superbly — that would free up Mickelson to not worry so much about his woeful driving and focus more on making birdies. Perhaps a Fourball pairing with Bubba would make for a situation where DeChambeau could tee off first and pipe his drive, and then give Bubba a free rip to hit it as far as he possibly can and give them a sizeable advantage over their opponents.

31. Tiger Woods

I know I said I was only going to look at the top-12 players in Ryder Cup points, but the readers would inevitably ask about Tiger anyway. Furthermore, Tiger is an intriguing candidate for the team given his current game.

Tiger has struggled in both the Foursome and Fourball format. He seems to not play that great in alternate shot. In Fourball, it appears that he plays well by himself, but he is often let down by his teammates. The Europeans have always gunned for Tiger in the Ryder Cup, and it takes a special type of teammate to deal with the hysteria of having Tiger as their partner.

There are the makings of a very good alternate shot partner with Tiger, as his iron play and putting are still really good and his short game has been incredible this season. In the Fourball format, it would be advisable to find a strong par-5 performer, as Tiger’s performance on the par-5s has not been outstanding thus far. Having said that, I could see three excellent partners for Tiger in either format.

Patrick Reed has the numbers to be compatible with Tiger’s game, and he also has the track record of living up to the moment in the Ryder Cup. Dustin Johnson is can make up for Tiger’s possible big misses off the tee and can overpower a course with Tiger. And Phil Mickelson, whose game is compatible with Tiger’s, and could provide a symbol of the old guard working together to beat the Europeans.

There are certainly a lot of compelling possible pairings for Team USA, and there is still a long way to go before we start to see what pairings are available. The European Team looks like one of the strongest in years, and with all of the potential storylines for the 2018 Ryder Cup, it could be one of the greatest Ryder Cups of all time.

Your Reaction?
  • 21
  • LEGIT1
  • WOW3
  • LOL1
  • IDHT1
  • FLOP1
  • OB1
  • SHANK2

Continue Reading

Podcasts

Gear Dive: How Tiger Woods used to adjust his clubs based on swing changes

Published

on

Ben Giunta, a former Nike Tour Rep and now owner of the TheTourVan.com, joins host Johnny Wunder and TXG’s Ian Fraser on this episode of The Gear Dive. Ben discusses working in-depth with Nike Athletes before the company stopped producing hard goods. He has some fantastic intel on TW and the setup of his sticks (around the 14-minute mark). They also discuss Ben’s new endeavor.

Check out the full podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes!

Your Reaction?
  • 16
  • LEGIT10
  • WOW7
  • LOL4
  • IDHT4
  • FLOP5
  • OB3
  • SHANK17

Continue Reading

19th Hole

Facebook

Trending