Tag Archives: Fred Couples

Dangers of Copying a Pro’s Swing

Adam Scott at the top Photo at Youtube.com
Adam Scott at the top
Photo at Youtube.com

Here we are in the dead of winter and I am fighting the irresistible urge to tinker with my golf swing.  Last weekend, it was 60 degrees and I spent two hours on the range and had a real good opening session.  Probably too good, which is why I’m feeling greedy.  If you are like me, the reason we do this is because of the safety factor of winter.  You can make minor tweaks or wholesale changes during periods of inactivity without suffering the consequences of a slump-inducing fix.  I know it’s a bad idea and still do it.  Do you as well?

Two years ago, I became infatuated with Adam Scott’s golf swing and tried to impart his down the line setup and move through the ball.  I loved the way he kept his spine angle rock solid and the way he torqued against his very stable lower body, and modeled it for myself over the winter.  Problem is this 54-year old bag of bones has nothing in common with Adam Scott.  The wholesale changes fell apart with the first ball struck in anger.

The modern day swings of players like Scott, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day, and Dustin Johnson, are all modeled off Tiger Woods and are not meant to be copied by desk jockeys.  Each has clearly spent many hours in the gym, and if you watch the follow through with their driver swings, each gets tremendous body rotation and the shaft points towards the target at finish.  Is the human back designed to undergo this much rotational stress over a protracted period?  I’m left to think that it’s not and players with a more upright swing like Phil Mickelson are doing their backs a favor.  Phil has his own physical issues, but I suspect lower back pain is not one of them.  Only one guy on the Senior Tour torques his body even close to these guys and that is Fred Couples.  Most others have more of a classic restricted finish and are still playing into their 50s.  Of course, Freddy’s back issues are well known and I can’t help but wonder, beautiful tempo aside, if the tremendous rotation he gets is responsible.

Adam Scott follow through Photo by ESPN
Adam Scott follow through
Photo by ESPN

So I smartly re-read the Grateful Golfer’s post on The Best Golf Swings Ever, where he reminded us that despite the number of writings and videos available on the swings of the greatest professionals of all time, the swing we should be working on is our own.  This is great advice and would add that you copy the visualization, pre-shot routines, and mental preparation of the top pros, but when it comes to swing mechanics, focus on improving your own technique.

So it’s off to go pump some 12 oz curls old style.  See you in the gym.

The Magical Healing Power of The Masters

The MastersWas wondering last weekend what had motivated me to spread 30 bags of mulch with a bad elbow – yep, Masters Week.  Ever notice when commercials come on for “The Masters” how you get a strange sense of well-being, and then while watching actual tournament play an endorphin rush takes over your body?  It hit me yesterday after enjoying three hours of tournament coverage and I’m super pumped to go work on my game today.  I’ve also experienced the same feeling from attending professional tournaments in person and in both cases I seem to be able to leverage the euphoria into short bursts of excellent play.

Some more good news.  I made great progress with new practice and warm-up routines that I’m going to test today and again tomorrow and will report back on.  Early sneak peak:  I’ve been able to identify a way to prepare myself for play without overtaxing myself physically, and to simulate enough game conditions to get into the flow on the first tee instead of slogging through four holes.

Also finalized the line-up for next month’s Myrtle Beach golfapalooza.  Two new courses are on the docket.  Kings North at Myrtle Beach National and Rivers Edge.  Anyone with playing tips on either of these, please share.  We’re also scheduled for return trips to The Legends (Heathland, Moorland, Parkland) and to one of my all time favorites, True Blue.  Full course reviews are coming on Kings North, Rivers Edge, and True Blue.

Looking forward to a great Masters weekend.  Who are your predictions to win with this star-studded leader board?  The 50+ year old in me is pulling hard for Freddy, but I’m still liking Tiger’s form.

Fred Couples Presidents Cup picks – budding controversy?

I read a disturbing blog post in USA Today where Freddy C is advocating use of a captain’s pick for Tiger Woods.  Don’t do it Freddy, make him play his way on the team.  The competition is set for November 17-20 and between now and then, most of the top 25 American stars will be competing in the FedEx Cup playoffs.  Tiger did not qualify for FedEx and is only scheduled to play the Australian Open in November.  How can you consider giving a spot to a guy who’s a total mental basket case and couldn’t win his club championship right now much less compete with the best in the world?  He won’t have the benefit of top competition leading up to the event.

As of this posting, here’s the top 25 qualifying spots for the U.S. Team:

Rank   Player                   Points
    1  Steve Stricker        13,783,403
    2  Matt Kuchar           12,543,827
    3  Phil Mickelson        11,920,047
    4  Nick Watney           11,831,320
    5  Dustin Johnson        10,481,897
    6  Bubba Watson           9,763,499
    7  David Toms             8,787,375
    8  Hunter Mahan           8,624,612
    9  Bill Haas              8,424,777
   10  Jim Furyk              8,091,994
   11  Rickie Fowler          7,479,081
   12  Bo Van Pelt            7,262,583
   13  Brandt Snedeker        7,138,263
   14  Zach Johnson           7,079,980
   15  Jason Dufner           7,055,408
   16  Webb Simpson           6,924,373
   17  Ryan Moore             6,899,113
   18  Keegan Bradley         6,864,399
   19  Mark Wilson            6,842,904
   20  Jonathan Byrd          6,640,688
   21  Ryan Palmer            6,500,754
   22  Jeff Overton           5,921,385
   23  Steve Marino           5,779,352
   24  Gary Woodland          5,776,513
   25  Sean O'Hair            5,599,802

There are so many players at 11-25 that are more deserving than Woods and who would benefit from the experience that it would be a shame for Couples to waste the pick.   If he’s insistent, I’d require Tiger to enter some Fall Season events on the PGA Tour and make him demonstrate he’s capable of taking a roster spot from someone more deserving.