I Was Rooting For You Tom Watson!!!

I Was Rooting For You Tom Watson!!!

Let this be a lesson to us all! I was there in 1975 when Tom won his first Open. I didn’t even know who he was back then. It was the first time I saw him out on the European tour and the guy wins!

Well I couldn’t help but root for him. Yes because of my age as well…we’re the same age. It was a shame to see him run out of gas.

The great lesson from all of this is that even though Tom has spent hours and hours on his putting, spent years on his golf game, the moment he needed it most he just couldn’t do it. Hello! I find that so many of my students seem to think that you can just fix your game for good. My back swing is where I want it to be, how come I can’t shoot 65?

That’s the beauty of this game. It is so difficult to magically create that perfect rhythm, state of mind and positive attitude that it takes to hold your golf game together. You mind can destroy any proper fundamentals you may have worked on.

You could see that Cink had it all together. He looked so relaxed on the playoff holes. I guess in football the announcers call it momentum. Well Tom ran out of holes and began running out of gas at the end of the last round.

Even Tom Watson, world golf champion and winner of so many tournaments could not hold it together, so don’t be so hard on yourself. Enjoy the game for what it is. Golf isn’t fair and life isn’t either so take it as it comes and enjoy yourself.

Seeing Tom gag that last putt on 18 like he did was terrible but it did do something for the rest of us. The next time we stand over a putt to beat one of our pals and we “yip” it like a coward we can say….well even the best do it sometimes.

May God bless you Tom Watson and may you remember what really matters. It’s only golf man….only golf!

Hey Tiger….Shame On You!

There is no shame in not making the cut. I can’t tell you how many times I didn’t make the cut. In fact when I played I was called a hot dog player. A couple would be walking down the fairway and see me hitting a ball and looking at the program and asking, “who’s that hitting now”? The husband said to his wife, “who cares…let’s get a hot dog”.

This of course is not the case with Tiger. So many young golfers look up to Tiger and the media idolizes him. Even if he’s not in the lead Tiger gets the most attention during television coverage.

Tiger playing poorly this British Open is not a problem. Getting upset and throwing clubs down on the ground and acting like a baby is. You never would have seen Arnold Palmer act that way.

Golfers today are making tons of money. They have their own jet planes, swing gurus, exercise assistants and mega-contracts with suppliers like Nike. They’re spoiled in my estimation!

Tiger had a bad week….so what! Take it like a gentleman and smile because you have a jet plane. Do you have a jet plane? You might be out of work right now!

I’ve been asked…isn’t there a lot of pressure on tour? No! I’ll tell you what pressure is. All your credit cards are maxed out, your kids are sick, you wife just left you and your boss fired you today. Sounds like a country song, but it happens.

I was asked once to help with a charity tournament where a guy was broke, kids were sick, he hadn’t made any money it quite a while, lost his house. Turned out it was the Foot Joy salesman in West Virginia!

My son is in Iraq. If he has a bad day I get two guys knocking on my door with white gloves. That’s pressure. Touring pros need to put things in perspective.

I was proud of Phil Nicholson when he showed little emotion about loosing his opportunity to win. His wife’s breast cancer put things in perspective for him didn’t it.

After all…golf is just a game! One is very fortunate to be able to make a living off of what you enjoy. I feel that way with every lesson I give and every new golfer I get to meet.

Bobby Lopez, PGA

PS. I don’t throw my clubs anymore because I’m too lazy to go pick them up!

Holy CRAP! My Swing Just Went To Pieces!!!!

Yes it will happen to you just like it has happened to me and every other golfer on the planet…yes even Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods. Sometimes it is difficult for me to get across that the best golfers in the world go through the same thing so why shouldn’t you?

Touring pros have a band aid that they apply and now you will too. Sometimes you can’t just “fix” your swing on the golf course. In fact trying to do so might put you so far down you need to reach up to touch bottom!

You have to get through the round and not set yourself so far back that you miss the cut or put yourself out of opportunity to make it up the next day. The PGA pro that taught me to play golf used to tell me as youngster that when I can play 18 holes and not hit a single green in regulation and still shoot par then I can consider myself a player. That’s what Nicklaus and Tiger have in common. They do not carry the best statistics for greens in regulations, fairways hit or least amount of putts. How do they win? They manage themselves better than anybody else.

Here’s what most pros do in a round when the wheels are coming off the wagon.

They try to shut down one system of the swing, namely the body. Usually your body and arms are out of sync so you need to shut one system down and fly on only one engine sort of speak. Just fly the plane back to the airport and fix it there…the driving range.

The reason why they generally shut down the body is because the body has a short distance to travel in the golf swing compared to the arms that generally the body or hips get ahead of the arms. This is the case with Tiger Woods which is why he worked hard on slowing his hips down. I might be telling some of you to speed them up. That’s because your hips are too slow.

Some pros accomplish this by first bringing their feet closer together in the address position. Why? Because with your feet closer together you are less likely to lunge at the ball with your body. Put you feet closer together and swing with all arms.

Another tip is to lighten up your grip pressure significantly. It may not feel to you that you are swinging faster than you should but it may be happened none the less. Tension is a killer of a smooth repeatable golf swing.

If needed, try taking one more golf club on a shot than you normally would. Hit a 5 where you hit a 6. Swing easy with only your arms you might be surprised to find yourself over the green under the TV tower. (Well you could pretend anyway)

Bottom linme is when your swing goes out of sync it is usually tempo related or a tugging of the body trying to excellerate the golf club beyond your capacity or best tempo. There is a BEST tempo for every golf swing and every golfer.

You need to find yours and stick with it and NOT go beyond the boundaries. Swinging hard on that long par 5 so you can get there in two may ruin the rest of your golf game. That’s why tour players NEVER get involved in long drive contests. They won’t risk loosing their tempo for a quick buck in a driving contest.

Hope this helps and you know where to find me,
Bobby Lopez, PGA