David Leadbetter - Chat Transcript

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 13, 2001, 5:00 pm
TGC_com - Welcome to tonight's Live Chat with TGC Troubleshooter David Leadbetter. We will begin at 10:15 PM ET.
TGC_com - Please feel free to post your question now. We will hold it until the chat begins! Please keep your questions short and to the point. Enjoy tonight's chat!
TGC_com - We're almost ready to start...we'll begin in just a minute!
TGC_com - Here we go!

britaycl- I'm trying to go from an 8 handicap to a scratch. what sort of training regimen would you recommend?
David_L - 1.if one feels one has the talent one needs to cover all the basics which means putting yourself in the hands of a competent teacher 2. working on your fitness level your strength, flexibility and cardiovascular and then designing your program in such a way that you have the time to work on the many different aspects required to be a zero handicapped player
rb2635- Is ball position a major contributor to lack of contact?
David_L - ball position no question can be a problem basically though in my opinion ball position tends to relate to the way were swinging in other words if we slice the ball we tend to have the ball to forward in the stance to off set the out to in swing.
David_L - a hooker of the ball, ball position back in their stance. For a slicer one should focus on moving the ball back in order to make solid contact and to encourage the club swinging from the inside.
David_L - a hooker should move the ball forward to encourage the swing on a straight line and certainly if you're hitting the ball fat i would suggest you put the ball back in your stance.
Britaycl - I have a 3 year old daughter who loves the game of golf. What kind of games can i give her to keep her interested?
David_L - above all else keep the game fun my suggestion is to work on and around the greens. Setting up little holes making each hole a par 4 and seeing what she can score. Make the hole no longer than 30 yards.
rb2635- Why is it that most amateurs can hit the 3wd better than the driver?
David_L - the loft on a driver combined with the length of the shaft makes it more difficult for amateurs especially those who are steep on the ball one can get away with hitting down on the ball more with a 3 wood than with a driver.
Bluetees - What is the best way to work on rhythm and tempo?
David_L - 2 simple tips. Relax your grip and arm pressure at address and breathe out during the whole swing. You'll find your swing tempo will be timed to your breathing.
SB - David, I have changed to a 10-finger grip and seem to be hitting the ball consitantly straighter, is it Ok to change to this grip? I am a 16 hdcp.
David_L - it perfectly acceptable Bob Rosberg is a player who has used this grip just make sure your hands stay together and work as a unit
Art - What type of putter do you use and why?
David_L - i use an odyssey putter triforce 3 model its well balanced and i love the insert.
EricCW - I hook my irons very badly and cannot seem to get them straight. Can you help me with some drills to correct this problem?
David_L - push your hands forward at the address make sure you feel your left hand is leading the clubface at impact as a drill hit 7 irons splitting your hands 2 inches apart this will give you the feeling of reducing your hand action though impact and keeping the clubface square
Art - Have you worked with Greg Norman this week? If yes, how is he hitting it and how do you like his chances to win on the Bay Hill course (where he used to live and be a member)?
David_L - i worked with Greg at the end of last week and I'm seeing him tomorrow, he feels very confident bay hill should be a good golf course for him and the only thing that could possibly hold him back is his limited number of tournament appearances so far this year. he's very excited about the year, he's back to full health doing well and i expect to see him in contention to win some tournaments shortly.
Mills - I began golf last year at age 56. I practice once a week. My little fingers always hurt the next day. Any suggestions?
David_L - it sounds your grips may be too thick i suggest having your grip thickness fixed, a ladies grip may help.
Amateurg - What are your thoughts on putting cross handed or 'the claw' grip?
David_L - with putting whatever works is crucial and certainly at times players get too handsy with their stroke so these grips are good to try.
TGC_com - Thanks for joining us tonight...we've got about 20 more minutes with David. You can check out his website at www.davidleadbetter.com
Blake - David, I get the club extremely shut at the top; and get stuck on the way down. How do I correct this? Thanks, Blake
David_L - firstly try weakening your right hand grip, secondly feel your left thumb under the shaft of the top of the backswing and finally sense that the back of your right wrist is at a straight line not cupped
Davieboy - Hopefully, I will be a college player next year. My swing has really improved but my scores haven't dropped that much and I would like to know what you suggest ?
David_L - the key really is to be able to have a safe shot work on hitting left to right shots your driver to keep the ball in play. most poor scores are the result of driving the ball badly. So you need a safe shot also work hard on making your short game sharp and finally think about playing more as opposed to practicing.
Accord1 - David, could you please tell us about your new venture Champions Gate?
David_L - champions gate is a 36 hole resort, designed by Greg Norman and we have outstanding practice facilities, indoor, outdoor, computer areas, top grade short game facilities, and all of this within 10 minutes of Disney world in Orlando, Florida. Come visit us.
Tracer - David- I am of stocky build and have an abbreviated backswing. How do I get more power into my shots without over swinging and losing control? Thanks.
David_L - the important thing is to maximize your turn. And get behind the ball. Encourage your right side to turn out of the way on the backswing. And make sure your shirt buttons are on top of your right leg on the top. Turning and coiling in this manner will provide more power while still keeping the swing relatively short.
TGC_com - We've got about 10 minutes left with David Leadbetter. You can call more info. on David and Champions Gate at 1-888-633-LEAD.
Ping - Good Evening everyone. Mr. Leadbetter, I have noticed lately that I am finishing on my toes. Does that mean I have stopped my turn early, or is it that I might be hanging on my right side to long.
David_L - it sounds like the swing is too steep on the downswing working to much out to in practice hitting balls with the ball above your feet this will encourage you to keep the weight more on your heels and to swing the ball on a shallower angle.
JustinB - Mr. Leadbetter what has been the most influential change in the game of golf since you began teaching?
David_L - no question, the video camera having the ability to view swings in slow motion and being able to see the sequence of motion it enable teachers to get to the root cause of the problem quickly.
Wentman - David, do you feel that Charles is battling some of the same swing problems that Tiger had early in his career. i.e. problems with distance control?
David_L - to some extent yes. this is a problem many power hitters face. but its always good when you're young to hit it far and then work on control as opposed to say Nick Faldo who worked on control when he was young as a result never really accrued any power.
Pro V1 - How did Ty Tryon average over 290 yards off the tee while weighing a mere 135 pounds?
David_L - i have worked with Ty since he was 7 years old, and his athleticism and great technique allowed him to hit the ball so far. This combined with modern equipment is enabling young athletes to hit the ball vast distances.
TGC_com - We have time for just two more questions.
TurfStuf - What makes a good student?
David_L - a good student is one who is open minded, listens well, and applies himself and paints a clear picture, or blue print of what they are trying to achieve.
Lawyer - What percentage of the game of golf is technical, and how much is mental?
David_L - i think it varies depending on the situation certainly close to tournament time it is far more mental, working up to tournament is more technical. However, in my opinion, the better the technical side is, the easier the mental side is to achieve. Basically, its a blend. When the technique is good, the mental should be more of a priority. When its not, you have to work on your golf swing.
TGC_com - We'd like to thank David Leadbetter for taking the time during this busy week to join us tonight for this live chat on TheGolfChannel.com.
David_L - i appreciate all the golfers logging on, and i hope some of these thoughts help you to play better golf. Bye for now.
TGC_com - You can call more information on David and Champions Gate at 1-888-633-LEAD or check out his website at www.davidleadbetter.com
TGC_com - Thank you all for joining us tonight and bearing with the slight technical difficulties earlier on!
TGC_com - Be sure to watch Jim McLean tomorrow night at 8PM ET as we continue Tune Up Your Game Week on The Golf Channel!
TGC_com - Copyright TGC.com 2001
Luke List, Justin Thomas, Tommy Fleetwood and Tiger Woods at the 2018 Honda Classic Getty Images

Honda leaders face daunting final day

By Randall MellFebruary 25, 2018, 12:46 am

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – The winner may need a cut man in his corner more than he needs a caddie on his bag in Sunday’s finish to the Honda Classic.

Smelling salts might come in handy, too.

“It just feels like you are getting punched in the face every single hole here,” Daniel Berger said of the test PGA National’s Champion Course offers. “Every single shot is so hard.”

Final rounds have been especially rough and tumble since the Honda Classic moved to PGA National in 2007.

That usually makes Sundays here as much about who can figuratively take a punch as who can throw one.

Luke List will have his jaw tested after taking sole possession of the lead Saturday with a second consecutive round of 4-under-par 66, but he can take comfort in the fact that punishment is doled plentifully around here.

“Just realizing that everyone is facing the same obstacles out there is huge,” List said. “You're not alone out there, if you make a bogey or a bad swing here or there.”

At 7-under 203, List is one shot ahead of a pair of major championship winners, Justin Thomas (65) and Webb Simpson (66). He is two ahead of Tommy Fleetwood (67), the reigning European Tour Player of the Year, and Jamie Lovemark (68).

List, 33, is seeking his first PGA Tour title in his 104th start. He will have to hold off some heavyweights, including Tiger Woods (69), who is seven shots back but feeling like he has a chance again. Woods closed with a 62 here six years ago when he finished second to Rory McIlroy.

“You never know what can happen the last few holes here,” Woods said. “A lot of things can happen and have happened in the past.”


Full-field scores from the Honda Classic

Honda Classic: Articles, photos and videos

Crazy things have happened here.

Three years ago, Padraig Harrington was five shots down with eight holes to play and won. He made two double bogeys in the final round but ended up beating Berger in a playoff.

Berger, by the way, was nine shots back entering the final round.

That was the year Ian Poulter took a share of lead into Sunday, hit five balls in the water and still finished just a shot out of the playoff.

Last year, Rickie Fowler made four bogeys and a double bogey in the final round and still won by four shots.

List will have a heavyweight playing alongside him in the final pairing, with 24-year-old Justin Thomas looking to claim his eighth PGA Tour title. Thomas was last season’s PGA Tour Player of the Year.

List has never held a 54-hole lead in a PGA Tour event.

“You guys build up certain players,” List said. “I know I'll be an underdog going against Justin Thomas and guys like that, which is fine.”

There is some inspiration for List in what Ted Potter Jr. did two weeks at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Potter, largely unknown even though he already had a PGA Tour title to his credit, held off stars Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson and Jason Day in the final round to win. 

Thomas earned the right to play alongside List in the final pairing Sunday with his 65, which equaled the low round of the tournament.

Thomas makes his home in nearby Jupiter and knows the punishment the Champion Course can dish out.

“It's a difficult course,” Thomas said. “If you let it get to you, it can be frustrating, but if you go into it understanding and realizing it's difficult, you just kind of embrace it and deal with it.”

Thomas played the Bear Trap’s trio of daunting holes (Nos. 15-17) in 2 under on Saturday. He birdied the 15th and 17th holes.

Fleetwood got in contention Saturday with a pair of eagles. He’s a four-time European Tour winner.

“I would love to get my first win on the PGA Tour this week,” he said. “It’s just great to be out here. It's great to be playing on courses like this that are such a test of every part of your game.”

Alex Noren, a nine-time European Tour winner, is also seeking his first PGA Tour title. He is three shots back. He lost in a playoff to Day at the Farmers Insurance Open last month.

Though this is just Noren’s second start at the Honda Classic, he knows how wildly momentum can swing on the Champion Course. He shot 65 Saturday after shooting 75 on Friday.

“I’m a few back, but anything can happen,” Noren said.

That’s the theme around here.

Getty Images

Thomas: Winning hometown Honda would 'mean a lot'

By Ryan LavnerFebruary 24, 2018, 11:53 pm

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Justin Thomas is trying to join Rickie Fowler as a winner of his hometown event.

Thomas will play in the final group alongside Luke List on Sunday at the Honda Classic after matching the low round of the week with a 5-under 65. He is at 6-under 204, one shot back of List.

The reigning PGA Tour Player of the Year is one of several residents of nearby Jupiter. After Fowler won last year, Thomas (who missed the cut) returned to the course to congratulate his neighbor on his fourth Tour title.

“I hope I give him the opportunity or the choice to come back,” Thomas said. “But I’ve got a lot of golf in front of me before I worry about him coming here.”

Full-field scores from the Honda Classic

Honda Classic: Articles, photos and videos

More important to Thomas, however, is winning this event, which is played at PGA National, one of the most difficult non-major courses on Tour.

“It would mean a lot,” he said. “It means a lot to win any golf tournament, but it would mean more because of how prestigious this golf tournament is and the list of winners that have won this event, how strong of a field it is, how difficult of a golf course.

“A decent number of my wins have been on easier golf courses, so it would be cool to get it done at a place like this.”

Getty Images

Woods paired with hotshot rookie Burns at Honda

By Ryan LavnerFebruary 24, 2018, 11:38 pm

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Rookie Sam Burns will be in the biggest spot of his career Sunday – playing alongside Tiger Woods.

Burns, the reigning Nicklaus Award winner who turned pro after two standout years at LSU, will go off with Woods at 12:45 p.m. at the Honda Classic.

Burns, 20, who earned his Web.com Tour card via Q-School, is playing this week on a sponsor exemption, his fourth of the season. He is 13th on the Web.com money list this year, after a tie for second two weeks ago in Colombia.

Full-field scores from the Honda Classic

Honda Classic: Articles, photos and videos

Burns and Woods are tied for 11th, at even-par 210.

Sunday is an important round for Burns, who can earn a spot into the Valspar Championship with a top-10 finish here.

Getty Images

List leads Honda; Thomas one back

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 24, 2018, 11:25 pm

Luke List, one of a legion of PGA Tour players who live in Jupiter, just two exits up I-95 from PGA National, shot a 4-under 66 on Saturday to take a one-shot lead after three rounds of the Honda Classic. Here's how things stand going into the final round at PGA National:

Leaderboard: Luke List (-7), Justin Thomas (-6), Webb Simpson (-6), Tommy Fleetwood (-5), Jamie Lovemark (-5), Alex Noren (-4) 

What it means: Leader List has played well this season, with no finish lower than T-26 in six starts. Thomas, of course, is the reigning Player of the Year. The next best pedigree among the leaders belongs to Simpson, winner of the 2012 U.S. Open and three other PGA Tour titles.

Round of the day: Thomas and Noren both shot 5-under 65s. Thomas made two of his six birdies in the Bear Trap (at the par 3s, Nos. holes 15 and17), while Noren played that stretch (15-17) in 1 over. Noren made his hay elsewhere, including an eagle at the last that canceled out his two bogeys.

Full-field scores from the Honda Classic

Honda Classic: Articles, photos and videos

Best of the rest: List, Simpson and Kelly Kraft all shot 66.

Biggest disappointment: After an opening 76, Jimmy Walker probably thought he was back on track with a 68 that allowed him to make the cut. Alas, the improvement was temporary, as he ballooned back to a 74 on Saturday.

Shot of the day: Tommy Fleetwood hit a fairway wood from 282 yards to within 8 feet of the cup on the 18th hole. He then made the putt for his second eagle of the day.

Quote of the day: "The course played a fair bit easier with not as much wind." - Thomas

Biggest storyline going into Sunday: List may be in the lead, but most eyes will be on Thomas, a five-time winner last year who has yet to lift a trophy in 2018. And of course, more than a few people will be keeping tabs on Tiger Woods. He'll begin the day seven shots back, trying to channel Tiger of 2012 - when he posted a 62 on Sunday at PGA National (which was good only for a runner-up finish to Rory McIlroy).