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Practicing without boundaries: How I rediscovered my short game

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These days you will hear many instructors talking about the concept of technique versus skill as it relates to your golf game. I think this is a very important notion for players who are looking to improve, and I’ve explored it in my new book.

Many golfers become obsessed with perfecting their technique at the expense of their skill, and personally I believe it should be the other way around.

What is skill?

I had a conversation with Andrew Rice last year that stuck in my head, and I’ve been thinking about it a lot ever since. I asked him a simple question about how he felt golfers could practice more effectively. He quickly responded by saying that players should focus more on doing things “outside of the box.”

Andrew, an instructor whose opinion I strongly respect, said that the one thing he noticed with junior players is that many of them have tremendous short games and the ability to pull off all kinds of shots. He believed it had to do with the fact that they were always experimenting, and were not bound by any kind of structure or technical thoughts during their practice sessions.

In other words, they were just playing.

Immediately this made me think of my childhood and how I used to practice. When I was younger I had an amazing short game, and could get up and down from almost anywhere with a variety of shots.

The reason I was able to do this was because I would spend hours in my backyard experimenting with all kinds of wedge shots. Unfortunately, it resulted in tearing up the lawn, hitting a parked cop car, and even a few errant shots striking the house (luckily I avoided the windows). But I did improve.

All of those “play” sessions were so successful because I wasn’t thinking about wrist hinge, where the ball was in my stance, or any kind of other technical cues. I was just seeing if I could get the ball from Point A to Point B in a creative way. If something worked then I tried to recreate that feeling on the next shot.

I didn’t know it at the time, but I was developing my skill as a golfer.

As I grew older my short game got worse and worse, and I began to worry about what was causing it. The more I thought about what I was doing with the club in terms of technique, the more petrified I became of my wedge shots on the course. It got to the point where I was approaching yip territory.

My practice sessions became obsessed with trying to fix these issues, but they didn’t work. Looking back, it was clear that I lost all of the inspiration that made my short game so great as a kid, and I was trying to solve the issue in an adult way. I had lost my ability to work on my skill, and was just worrying about technique.

What changed?

The last couple of years I have regained a lot of my short game skill because I have returned to the kind of practice that got me there. Now I have my own lawn that I am free to tear up, and I spend 15-20 minutes of my practice time trying to experiment.

I throw about 10 balls on the grass and choose a bunch of different targets. One shot will be a low runner to the bucket 20 feet away from me. Another will be a lofted pitch to a towel 60 feet away. I keep shifting from shot to shot, and see what happens.

This is the kind of practice that develops your skill as a golfer. It’s random, and it gets you focusing on a different target each time. There is plenty of evidence from coaches who are looking into cognitive research that support doing this kind of practice rather than just trying to hit the same target over and over again.

Why is skill so important?

Skill is important for a golfer because a round of golf requires you to adapt to all kinds of situations. You might be stuck behind a tree, have a fluffy lie in the rough with a bunker in between you and the green, or have a severely sloped stance in the fairway.

You need to adjust your technique to each situation. I believe that is the essence of skill, being able to adapt. I have seen so many players who are able to execute amazing shots with technique that would be considered unorthodox, but because they had developed their skill as a golfer, they had the confidence to pull them off.

Don’t get me wrong though; there is absolutely a place for proper technique in your golf game. It’s certainly an important fundamental. But golfers are not robots, and I think it’s important to sometimes move your attention away from these technical thoughts and just focus on finding a way to advance the ball to your target. Isn’t that the point of this game?

So the next time you are at the range, or have a few minutes to practice in your backyard, try doing things outside of the box. Imagine there is a tree in front of you and you have to hook your 6-iron around it. Pretend there is a bunker right in front of you that you have to clear to land your wedge shot safely on the green.

Try to have fun, experiment, and play like a child. Don’t worry about your technique so much.

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Jon is the author of the bestselling book, "101 Mistakes All Golfers Make (and how to fix them)". He is the owner of Practical Golf, a site dedicated to being an honest resource for golfers of all levels looking to improve their games. His advice is written through a player’s perspective, and he is passionate about coaching golfers in their quest to lower their scores and enjoy the game more. Overall, Jon believes golf is a difficult game, but it doesn’t have to be a complicated one. You can find him on Twitter @practicalgolf, where he is happy to chat about golf with anyone.

13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Alex

    Mar 15, 2016 at 11:42 am

    I’ve just bumped into this article. Your story is my story. Outstanding wedge player as a kid, went sour in my late 20s. I still remember the endless hours of “playing” in my backyard, making up shots and pretending I was about to win the Masters if I holed out from the fringe.

    I’ll definitely give it a try. The rest of my game is still in shape. But I need to regain my confidence with my wedges.

  2. Mbwa Kali Sana

    Mar 7, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    YOUR article confirms what I have always contended ,e.g practicing is useless ,I never go to a driving range nor practice on a practice Green .But I play on the golf course every two days ,18 holes .often alone ,So when There’s nô one in front or behind I play several balls in different ways With different clubs .My short game is very sharp ,And at AGE over 81 ,I Still play to a 7 handicap ,Thanks to m’y short game ,which compensates for loss of distance off the TEE ,due to AGE .

  3. rymail00

    Mar 6, 2016 at 12:13 am

    Great article.

    There’s new articles every few days on the front page, and my personal favorite ones are practice type articles like this. I hope they keep articles like this going on a regular basis. Even if the article is about something I may already do everytime I practice there’s still always a chance of learning something new or different, or even a slightly different approach towards what we are trying to improve at. So these types of things I love reading about.

    • Jon Sherman

      Mar 6, 2016 at 12:10 pm

      Thank you! I think a lot of players need some direction in their practice sessions (me included). It’s just a matter of getting some ideas on how you can spend that time effectively.

  4. KK

    Mar 5, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    Great article. Humans naturally avoid uncomfortable situations. Unfortunately, a round of golf is often full of uncomfortable situations, haha.

  5. Ronald Montesano

    Mar 5, 2016 at 7:15 pm

    I have a friend (We’ll call him “The Scrambler”) who wants to know distance from the fairway down to the foot, it seems. Get him on the green, or near it, and all that goes away. If I want to bust his chops, I feign revelation of # of feet to hole; he flips out. That’s affirmation of the point you’re making, I think. Full golf is fairly fundamental, while short golf is artistic play.

    • Jon Sherman

      Mar 6, 2016 at 12:11 pm

      I would agree with that. The short game requires a lot of creativity, and there are many ways to play each shot. While technique has its place, imagination and skill are just as important.

  6. Andy

    Mar 5, 2016 at 5:24 pm

    Great post. I think this is applicable to the entire game also. I see way too many people who are playing “golf swing” instead of “golf”. At the end of the day the point of the game is to get the ball in the hole in the fewest number of strokes. I practice my short game where I never hit the same shot twice, similar to what you have described above. At the range I never hit the same club more than three times in a row and spend at least 5-10 minutes hitting crazy low hooks/fades, half shots, high shots, etc. with different clubs….i.e. the shots you actually need 2-3 times a round. This has really forced me to get better and not thinking about technique and just making the ball move a certain way and has lowered my scores.

  7. RAT

    Mar 5, 2016 at 3:18 pm

    Doesn’t matter how you get there as long as your 1st ( excluding cheating)! I think too many people have been watching too much instruction on TV with all the high tech computer stuff and have forgotten how to practice and play loose. Most people don’t want to learn the tuff shots because they just move the ball where it’s out of trouble and doesn’t require a special shot making attempt. I say if you want to roll the ball go bowling. I have witnessed balls being moved 10-15 feet for an unobstructed shot. I love making the tuff attempts to test my skills and to impress , (Show-n -off)! Grant you I’m not good but I love to dream up stuff and have been fairly lucky in pulling them off.I have a friend we were playing together he was in the woods and I suggested he should hit through an opening in the trees about 15 x15 inches he challenged me to do it and I did and he said 100 bucks if you do it again just a smaller hole about 6 inches over., I did but there was no pay off. Both landed on the green one rolled into the trap-First one was slick..

  8. Philip

    Mar 5, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    I prefer to be creative on the course. After work, when I finish practicing on the range, take a club (8i) and play 3-4 holes until dark. In addition, during this season every 3rd or 4th round I will carry just a sunday bag with 5-6 clubs and no scorecard, and go out and enjoy the day outside. Even trying to get into trouble to see what I’ll do to get back in play.

    • Jon Sherman

      Mar 5, 2016 at 2:45 pm

      I 100% agree with you, and have written an article about that before. If it’s possible, I believe practicing on an actual golf course is one of the best ways to improve. During the summer when it stays darker out later I try to take 4-5 balls on the course and try all kinds of shots on a few holes. Not everyone has access to a situation like that, but if you can do it it will pay big dividends.

  9. Paul Byrne

    Mar 5, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    Another excellent article Jon. You have hit the nail on the head. Players like yourself, who are skilled at the short game, have learned through experimentation having been exposed to a wide variety of different course conditions, lie, turf hardness, slope etc., in their early years of development. They all possess an innate understanding that if you strike the ball lower down on its circumference, or increase swing speed, it will spin more. Or, if you hit down, it will launcher lower. The skill is in finding the correct balance between each of these elements, given the prevailing conditions, in order to obtain the appropriate launch angle, trajectory and spin rate for the desired shot.

    I agree, working on technique or relying on smash factor, spin loft, dynamic loft, attack angle numbers, etc, as advocated by many golf instructors, is no substitute for experimentation as you have described. That approach is more akin to ‘painting by numbers’, and is not the route to mastery.

    Look forward to more of your articles.
    All the best
    Paul

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19th Hole

Vincenzi’s 2024 Memorial Tournament betting preview: Collin Morikawa to reign supreme at Jack’s place

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The PGA Tour heads to Jack’s place to play the 2024 edition of the Memorial Tournament presented by Workday. The Memorial is regarded as one of the most prestigious non-majors of the PGA Tour season, and for the second consecutive year the tournament will be a “Signature Event”.

Muirfield Village Golf Club is a 7,571-yard par-72 located in Dublin, Ohio that features Bentgrass greens. A Jack Nicklaus design, the course was built in 1974 and redesigned by Nicklaus in 2020. The course can play extremely difficult due to its long rough and lightning-fast greens.

The Memorial Tournament will play host to 80 golfers this week, which is down from 120 last year. The top 50 and ties will make the cut. Being a designated event, the field is predictably stacked and will feature most of the biggest stars on Tour. All eligible players have committed to the event in addition to sponsor’s exemptions Matt Kuchar, Brandt Snedeker and Billy Horschel. 

Past Winners at the Memorial Tournament

  • 2023: Viktor Hovland (-7)
  • 2022: Billy Horschel (-13)
  • 2021: Patrick Cantlay (-13)
  • 2020: Jon Rahm (-9)
  • 2019: Patrick Cantlay (-19)
  • 2018: Bryson DeChambeau (-15)
  • 2017: Jason Dufner (-13)
  • 2016: William McGirt (-15)

Key Stats for Muirfield Village

Let’s take a look at five key metrics for Muirfield Village to determine which golfers boast top marks in each category over their last 24 rounds.

1. Strokes Gained: Approach

Jack Nicklaus designs all have one thing in common: They reward the best iron players on Tour. When designing Muirfield Village, Jack created a second-shot golf course that strongly benefited golfers who could really dial in their approach shots. With that in mind, does it surprise anyone that Tiger Woods won this event five times?

Strokes Gained: Approach Over Past 24 Rounds

  1. Scottie Scheffler (+1.37)
  2. Corey Conners (+1.14)
  3. Xander Schauffele (+1.14)
  4. Sepp Straka (+0.88)
  5. Rory McIlroy (+0.88)

2. Strokes Gained: Ball Striking

Strokes Gained: Ball Striking does include approach, but if there is any week to overemphasize Strokes Gained: Approach, this is the week. The statistic also incorporates Strokes Gained: Off the Tee, which will be important considering the rough at Muirfield Village can be exceedingly penal.

Strokes Gained: Ball Striking Over Past 24 Rounds

  1. Scottie Scheffler (+2.48)
  2. Xander Schauffele (+1.88)
  3. Rory McIlroy (+1.60)
  4. Ludvig Aberg (+1.56)
  5. Corey Conners (+1.42)

3. Good Drive %

Driving the ball well will be an important factor. Bombing it off the tee is not a requirement at Muirfield Village, but distance always helps. The rough can get very long, and golfers who can’t put the ball in the fairway will fall out of contention quickly. Balanced and consistent drivers of the golf ball should be the targets this week.

Good Drive % Over Past 24 Rounds

  1. Collin Morikawa (+88.1%)
  2. Tom Hoge (86.1%)
  3. Sepp Straka (+85.9%)
  4. Scottie Scheffler (+85.8%)
  5. Alex Noren (+85.8%)

4. Strokes Gained: Putting (Bentgrass – Fast)

The Bentgrass greens at Muirfield are lightning quick. Whoever can master these difficult putting surfaces has a major advantage at Jack’s place.

Strokes Gained: Putting (Bentgrass+Fast) Over Past 24 Rounds:

  1. Justin Rose (+1.43)
  2. Thomas Detry (+0.88)
  3. Sahith Theegala (+0.77)
  4. Harris English (+0.74)
  5. Denny McCarthy (+0.73)

5. Strokes Gained: Nicklaus Designs

We often see similar leaderboards when events are hosted by Jack Nicklaus designed courses. The model this week will look to incorporate those golfers.

Strokes Gained: Nicklaus Designs (per round, min. 4 rounds) Over Past 36 Rounds:

  1. Scottie Scheffler (+2.49)
  2. Patrick Cantlay (+2.32)
  3. Collin Morikawa (+1.99)
  4. Shane Lowry (+1.74)
  5. Austin Eckroat (+1.67)

6. Course History

We often see similar leaderboards when events are hosted by Jack Nicklaus designed courses. The model this week will look to incorporate those golfers.

Course History (Strokes Gained: Total (per round, min. 4 rounds) Over Past 36 Rounds:

  1. Scottie Scheffler (+2.75)
  2. Patrick Cantlay (+2.54)
  3. Justin Rose (+2.17)
  4. Collin Morikawa (+1.77)
  5. Jordan Spieth (+1.66)

The Memorial Tournament Model Rankings

Below, I’ve compiled overall model rankings using a combination of the five key statistical categories previously discussed — SG: Approach (27%), SG: BS (18%), Good Drive % (16%), SG: Putting Bentgrass – Fast (13%), Course History (13%) and SG: Total Nicklaus Designs (13%).

  1. Scottie Scheffler
  2. Xander Schauffele
  3. Shane Lowry
  4. Alex Noren
  5. Sahith Theegala
  6. Collin Morikawa
  7. Rory McIlroy
  8. Tony Finau
  9. Keegan Bradley
  10. Sepp Straka
  11. Corey Conners
  12. Viktor Hovland
  13. Russell Henley
  14. Si Woo Kim
  15. Justin Thomas

2024 Memorial Tournament Picks

Collin Morikawa +1800 (Fanatics)

Collin Morikawa has consistently shown up in the biggest events over the past few months. He finished in a tie for 3rd at The Masters, 9th at the RBC Heritage, a tie for 16th at the Wells Fargo Championship and a tie for 4th at the PGA Championship. He also finished 4th in his most recent start at the Charles Schwab Challenge.

Iron play is always a strong indication of where Morikawa’s game is trending, and his Strokes Gained: Approach numbers have seen a recent uptick. The two-time major champion has gained an average of 4.0 strokes on approach over his last two starts, which despite not being as good as his peak approach numbers, are a major improvement over the past year or so.

Morikawa has played some great golf at Muirfield Village throughout his career. He won the Workday Charity Open in 2020 and lost in a playoff at The Memorial Tournament in 2021. His two most recent starts at the course have ended in a withdraw and a missed cut, but his current form is much better than it was over the past few seasons coming into the event.

In addition to the strong iron play, the ability to keep the ball in the fairway will be a major advantage for a Memorial Tournament that I anticipate will play relatively difficult. Morikawa has gained strokes off the tee in eight consecutive starts, including 3.8 strokes at the PGA Championship and 4.0 strokes at the Charles Schwab Challenge.

The American has been fantastic at Nicklaus Courses since he burst onto the scene on the PGA Tour, and that was once again on full display at Valhalla last month. In his last 36 rounds, Collin ranks 3rd in Strokes Gained: Total on Nicklaus designs. He also ranked 1st in the field in Good Drive %, which will be a key this week.

It’s been a while since the 27-year-old has won a big event on Tour, but that could very well change this week at Jack’s place.

Justin Thomas +2500 (BetMGM)

Justin Thomas is winless in last 43 professional starts, dating back to the 2022 PGA Championship. For a player with 17 professional wins and in the prime of his career, that’s a long time.

Other than being “due”, Thomas has shown signs that is just about all the way back from his two-year slump. He has four top-ten finishes this season, with three of those being at a “signature” event or a major. Most recently, he’s finished in a tie for 5th at the RBC Heritage, a tie for 21st at the Wells Fargo Championship and a tie for 8th at the PGA Championship.

JT has loved Nicklaus designs throughout his career. He finished 2nd at the 2020 Workday at Muirfield Village, losing in a playoff to Collin Morikawa. In his last 30 rounds at the course, he ranks 6th in Strokes Gained: Total.

In addition to the obvious course fit, Thomas’ ball striking numbers have come to life of late. He gained 4.1 strokes on approach at the PGA Championship to go along with 4.6 strokes off the tee. Valhalla another Jack Nicklaus design so it’s encouraging to see that’s where he had arguably his best ball striking week of the season. The key for Thomas will be keeping the ball on the fairways this week and he’s improved his SG: OTT performance in four consecutive starts.

Thomas is finally in form and ready to get back in the winner’s circle at Muirfield Village.

Byeong Hun An +5000 (DraftKings)

Byeong Hun An is playing the best golf of his career. This season, the 32-year-old has finished T16 at the Genesis Invitational, T16 at The Masters, T8 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and 3rd at the Wells Fargo Championship.

The South Korean’s ball striking has been fantastic this year. He’s gained strokes both off the tee and on approach in six consecutive events. An will now head back to a course where he’s had plenty of success. Back in 2018, he lost in a playoff to a surging superstar named Bryson DeChambeau. Ben has five top-25 finishes in eight starts at the course. The few times he missed the cut were in 2020 and 2021 when he was really struggling with his game.

An has had some close calls of late and I believe we need to stick with him for one more week.

Corey Conners +6000 (DraftKings)

Corey Conners is absolutely striping the ball right now. In his past 24 rounds, the Canadian ranks 2nd in Strokes Gained: Approach, 5th in Strokes Gained: Ball Striking and 22nd in Good Drive %.

At last week’s Canadian Open, Conners ranked 4th for the week in approach and finished in 6th place. In his previous two starts, Conners ranked 2nd in Strokes Gained: Approach at the Wells Fargo Championship and 4th at the PGA Championship. There are very few players on the planet that are currently hotter with their irons than Corey Conners.

Conners has a solid history at Muirfield Village with mixed results. His best finish came in 2022, when he finished T13 and also finished T22 back in 2020. While putting is typically Conners’ greatest weakness, he’s gained strokes on the greens in three of his six starts at the course and ranks 30th in the field in Strokes Gained: Putting on fast Bentgrass, so there’s hope that the 32-year-old can putt to field average this week.

Conners’ ability to hit fairways and dial in his mid-irons can propel him to the top of the leaderboard this week at a course that favors ball strikers.

Will Zalatoris +8000 (DraftKings)

I’m not entirely sure if Will Zalatoris is fully healthy based on his recent struggles, but there are enough positive signs for a player of his talent at this number.

Zalatoris made a Friday charge in his most recent start at the PGA Championship, which enabled him to sneak through the cut line. For the week, he gained 3.56 strokes on approach and has gained on approach in nine of his past ten starts.

Although he’s struggled at times, Zalatoris still has some strong finishes in big events this year. He finished in a tie for 9th at the Masters, a tie for 4th at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and a tie foe 2nd at the Genesis Invitational.

If Zalatoris is feeling fit, Muirfield Village is a perfect course to showcase his strengths. He’s one of the best iron players in the world and already has a 5th place finish in his most recent start at the course (2022).

This is a buy low opportunity on a world class player that has win equity.

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Opinion & Analysis

Saso says so! Yuka Saso survives for second U.S. Open title

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One of my favorite golf writers was the late Ron Balicki, and not just for the shared first name. Balicki was called, and enjoyed, the nickname “Wrong Ron,” because whoever he chose to win, was guaranteed to do not that. I might have inherited the moniker, sadly, and if you read yesterday’s update, this week goes miles to secure that designation. Four amateurs made the cut, and three of them tied for low amateur at 12-over par. I picked the one that did not make that number. Hilarious, no? As for the tournament proper, the new “Wrong Ron” guessed the correct country, but the wrong golfer. I went with Hinako Shibuno, and it was the other pride of Japan, Yuka Saso, who stole the show. Alas!

For a healthy portion of the day, odds were in the favor of a player earning a second Open title. Important note:  her name was not Yuka Saso. As golfers around her crumbled, Minjee Lee held steady at +1 on the day, and -4 on the week. Arpichya Yubol from Thailand had made the big move of the day. She reached -3 on the day an -1 for the week, before two late bogies dropped her to solo fifth position, a remarkable achievement. The round of the day came from Ally Ewing, who posted four birdies against zero bogeys for 66 and a tie for third spot.

As for Minjee, the round’s thread began to unravel at the 9th. A missed fairway led to bogey, and she followed with a three-putt for another at the tenth hole. Double bogeys at 12 and 14 took her out of the running for the title, and opened the chase to a new segment of the field. Hinako Shibuno would ultimately finish in solo second, one of two golfers to finish under par on the week. Shibuno was never a threat for the title, but when others lost their momentum, she found herself positioned for a runner-up finish.

It was Yuka Saso who turned in the day’s memorable performance. Saso turned in even par on the day, preserving her position at one-under par. Andrea Lee (+5) and Wichanee Meechai (+7) fell away from their place atop the third-round chart, as did Minjee Lee. Suddenly, Saso had posted four birdies in five holes on the inward half. She finished at two under on the day, four under on the week, and earned a three-shot win over Shibuno.

In her post-0round comments, Saso revealed that she had doubts that she would win again, especially a major title. She discussed the addition of a new putter to her bag, and her extraordinary confidence in her driver. Finally, Saso revealed how important the first cut of rough was to the resolution of the tournament. That wee bit of playable grass made all the difference in her mind.

With the refreshing transparency that all writers desire, Yuka Saso won for a second time on Sunday. We’ll forgive her if she values the US Open silver a bit more.

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19th Hole

5 examples of how Lexi Thompson has been treated harsher than any of her peers

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*Editor’s note: This article originally appeared on GolfWRX in September 2023*

Following Lexi Thompson’s Solheim Cup post-round presser on Friday evening, the 28-year-old has been the topic of much discussion.

Golf pundits and fans alike have been weighing in with their takes after this exchange with a reporter surrounding an untimely shank on Friday afternoon went viral:

After the incident, LPGA Hall of Famer Nancy Lopez said that Lexi has “been picked on and drug through negative comments. She is tired of it”

So has the criticism of Lexi Thompson been justified, or is this yet another example of her being unfairly treated?

Well, here are five times, in my opinion, that Lexi has been scrutinized far differently over the years than her peers.

2022 KPMG PGA Championship

At the 2022 KPMG PGA Championship, Lexi Thompson held a two-stroke lead with three holes to play. She couldn’t close the deal and lost the tournament.

Afterwards, she was fined $2k (as were the rest of the group) for slow play.

Lexi declined to speak to the media and got hammered on social media for doing so…

Almost every golfer at some point has skipped a media session following disappointment on the course, and nobody has really batted an eyelid.

Tiger skipped back-to-back post-round media briefings at the 2019 WGC Mexico after being frustrated with his putting. Remember the backlash over that? Nah, me neither.

Donald Trump

@TheWhiteHouse

Every (or nearly every) big-name golfer under the sun has played golf with Donald Trump. Tiger Woods, Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy etc. Nobody really cared.

For whatever reason, when Lexi Thompson did, it was a story, and she took herself off social media soon after the photo was posted.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi)

2021 U.S. Women’s Open

In the final round of the 2021 U.S. Women’s Open, Lexi Thompson had a 6-foot eagle on her opening hole. She missed and made birdie to lead by five.

She then lost the tournament.

Following the round, Brandel Chamblee said on ‘Live From’:

“She’s got 6 feet away. Now professional golfers don’t miss the center of the face by a pinhead. Look where she hits this putt on the very 1st hole. Look where this putt comes off the face. She would have missed the center of the putter there by a half an inch. I have never — I have never — seen a professional golfer miss the center of the putter by a wider margin than that. That was at the 1st hole. “

Honest? Absolutely. Correct? Brandel usually is. Has any other LPGA golfer been handed the full-on Chamblee treatment? Not to my knowledge.

2023 Solheim Cup

Lexi Thompson spoke the words, “I don’t need to comment on that” when a reporter asked her about a failed shot, and the golf community collectively lost their minds.

Lost on many people is the fact that she literally answered the question instantly after.

Jessica Korda described the reporting of the awkward exchange with the media member as yet another example of the golf media shredding Lexi, but in reality, it was really just golf media covering the furore created by golf fans reacting to the viral clip.

Lexi then won her next two matches, collecting 3 points from 4 for the U.S. team. But nobody seems to care about that.

Instagram

‘yOu ShoUlD PrAcTIce puTTinG’

There’s very few golfers that have been plagued with such inane posts on their Instagram page as Lexi Thompson has.

I’ve tracked golfer’s social media accounts over the past few years (job requirement, sort of?). I can categorically say that Lexi gets some of the angriest and most aggressive responses to her posts of any golfer. Male or female. (She also gets some very nice ones too).

Despite countless posts of Thompson relentlessly practising her putting, the number of comments from dummies accusing her of neglecting that area of her game is both bizarre and alarming. Notice how the comments have been disabled on the post below? Probably not a coincidence.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi)

Go on any other golfer’s social account, and it will be hard to find the same dynamic.

Throw in the scandalous rules decision at the 2017 ANA Inspiration that cost her a second major title and spawned the “Lexi rule,” and it’s hard not to think Lexi has had a bit of a raw deal at times.

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