Golf Talk Live - Butch Harmon Transcript Segment 5
OKAY BUTCH, HERE'S A QUESTION SUBMITTED TO OUR WEBSITE TODAY FOR YOU AND IT IS, DO YOU THINK TIGER'S CHALLENGERS ARE GOING TO COME FROM PLAYERS YOUNGER THAN HE IS? TIM DALTON WOULD LIKE TO KNOW.
WELL TIM, AND PETER, I THINK THAT'S A POSSIBILITY. I STILL THINK THAT PHIL MICKELSON AND DAVID DUVAL AND LEE WESTWOOD AND DARREN CLARKE AND COLIN MONTGOMERIE AND, AND ALL THESE GREAT PLAYERS ARE GOING TO
PRESENT A CHALLENGE. YES, I THINK THERE IS A YOUNGSTER OUT THERE WHO WE MAY NOT EVEN KNOW YET WHO HE MAY NOT EVEN KNOW WHO HE IS YET WHO'S GOING TO COME ALONG THAT'S GOING TO HAVE THE SAME STRENGTHS,
DESIRES, FUNDAMENTALS ARE GOING TO BE BASICALLY GOOD LIKE TIGER'S ARE AND IS HE GOING TO BE ANOTHER TIGER WOODS? ONLY TIME GOING TO TELL. YOU WOULD THINK NOT, BUT THEN AGAIN, YOU DON'T NEVER WANT TO SAY NEVER.
YOU THINK IT'LL COME FROM THE SERGIO GARCIA, ADAM SCOTT, AARON BADLEY GROUP, FOR EXAMPLE?
WELL ALL THREE OF THOSE ARE GREAT PLAYERS, THERE'S NO DOUBT ABOUT THAT. SERGIO'S ALREADY PROVING THIS YEAR WHAT A GREAT YEAR HE'S HAVING. YEAH, I THINK IT CAN. I THINK THEY HAVE
TO LEARN HOW TO CONTROL THEIR EMOTIONS A LITTLE BETTER AND HANDLE THEIR NERVOUS SYSTEM A LITTLE BETTER AND I THINK WHEN THAT HAPPENS THEN YOU'RE GOING TO SEE THEM STARTING TO
CONTEND A LITTLE MORE IN MAJORS. I WAS ACTUALLY VERY SURPRISED AT THE U.S. OPEN THAT SERGIO GARCIA, AND DAVID DUVAL, AND PHIL MICKELSON STRUGGLED ON SUNDAY BECAUSE THEY WERE THE CREAM OF THE CROP, YOU WOULD THINK GOING INTO THAT LAST ROUND.
LET'S LET SOME OF OUR VIEWERS GET SOME THOUGHTS FROM YOU. GRADY FROM ILLINOIS, GO AHEAD SIR.
GRADY, CALLER FROM ILLINOIS (MALE):
YES, MR. HARMON, YOU SPOKE EARLIER ABOUT WHAT YOU LEARNED, HAD LEARNED FROM YOUR STUDENTS. I'VE LEARNED SO MUCH FROM MY CHILDREN,
FROM MY YOUNGER BROTHER. CAN YOU TALK TO THE THINGS THAT YOU'VE LEARNED FROM YOUR BROTHERS?
WELL, I THINK MY BROTHERS HAVE BEEN PHENOMENAL. I THINK THE ONE GREAT THING ABOUT THE HARMON BOYS IS THAT WE'RE VERY CLOSE AND YET WE LOVE TO GIVE EACH OTHER A BUNCH OF STICK, AND
I THINK THE OTHER NEAT THING IS ALL FOUR OF US ARE DIFFERENT PERSONALITIES. WE ALL HAVE DIFFERENT PERSONALITIES. WE LIVE OUR LIVES DIFFERENT. THE THINGS THAT ARE IMPORTANT TO EACH ONE OF US IS DIFFERENT. I THINK THE THING I'VE LEARNED FROM MY BROTHERS IS THAT
WORKING HARD, BEING HONEST, BEING LOYAL, TRYING TO BE LIKE DAD AS MUCH AS YOU CAN BE, YOU CAN'T GO WRONG AND ALL FOUR OF US HAS DONE PRETTY GOOD AT DOING THAT.
LET'S SEE WHAT STEPHEN IN NORTH CAROLINA WANTS TO ASK YOU, BUTCH. GO AHEAD STEPHEN.
ARE YOU THERE? ... WHEN, WHEN YOU SIT WITH YOUR THREE BROTHERS AND TALK ABOUT YOUR DAD, WHAT'S MOST LIKELY TO COME UP? SOMETHING FUNNY, SOMETHING CRAZY ?
NO, YOU REALLY, HOW MUCH OF A GENIUS DAD WAS. HOW FAR AHEAD OF HIS TIME HE WAS. WE WOULD ALWAYS SAY, GOSH DAD SAID THAT 50 YEARS AGO, DAD SAID THAT 40 YEARS AGO OR DAD BELIEVED IN THAT 30 YEARS AGO.
TRAINING AIDES. HE WAS TAKING HIS BELT OFF. AN ELASTIC BELT AND PUTTING IT AROUND PEOPLES ARMS LONG BEFORE THERE WAS A, A SWING TRAINER TO DO THAT. HE HAD A BIG OVAL THING THAT ACTUALLY CHANGED LEVELS AS YOU
CAME DOWN THAT HE USED TO TEACH ON THAT, TO SHOW YOU SWING PLANE LONG BEFORE ANYONE INVENTED THE BIG CIRCLE THAT YOU SEE ACADEMIES USE. HE USED 16 MILLIMETER FILM WAY BACK IN THE 50'S, TAKING FILM OF PEOPLE. I MEAN HE WAS JUST WAY AHEAD OF HIS
TIME. HE WAS A GENIUS WHEN IT CAME TO GOLF. HE NOT ONLY WAS A GREAT PLAYER, HE WAS JUST A FANTASTIC TEACHER. I MEAN HE WAS UNBELIEVABLE. I DON'T THINK I GIVE A LESSON TODAY WHEN I DON'T QUOTE SOMETHING MY DAD SAID.
LIKE I WOULD SAY TO THE PERSON, YOU KNOW MY DAD WOULD SAY, DO THIS OR, AND IT'S JUST UNBELIEVABLE AND UNCANNY HOW WHEN CRAIGY AND DICKY AND BILLY AND I TALK ABOUT THESE THINGS THEY SAY, YOU KNOW, I SAY THE SAME THING ALL THE TIME.
FUNNY, I NEVER SAY ANYTHING TO MY PRODUCER WHERE I DON'T THINK ABOUT SOMETHING RUDE YOU'VE SAID TO ME THAT I CAN'T GO AHEAD AND SAY TO HIM.
LET'S CHECK IN WITH TED IN ONTARIO. HOW ARE YOU TONIGHT, TED?
TED, CALLER FROM ONTARIO (MALE):
OH I'M GREAT GUYS, THANK YOU. THANKS FOR TAKING MY CALL.
TED, CALLER FROM ONTARIO (MALE):
I WAS JUST WONDERING THAT MR. HARMON, YOU HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO, OR AT LEAST YOU HAD THE PLEASURE OF BEING EDUCATED BY A MR. HOGAN.
TED, CALLER FROM ONTARIO (MALE):
THE LATE GREAT BEN HOGAN, AND I WAS JUST WONDERING, WHEN YOU ACTUALLY PLAYED WITH HIM IN 1960 AT MEADOW BROOK, WHAT WAS THE, THAT DAY THAT IMPRESSED YOU THE MOST?
WELL TED I WAS VERY FORTUNATE. I GREW UP WATCHING BEN HOGAN PRACTICE AS A YOUNGSTER BECAUSE HE AND MY FATHER WERE SUCH BEST FRIENDS. THEY WOULD PLAY ALL THEIR PRACTICE ROUNDS TOGETHER AT MAJORS.
I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY WHEN I WAS 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 YEARS OLD TO WATCH BEN HOGAN PLAY GOLF, WATCH HOW HE PRACTICED.
I THINK THE THING I LEARNED THE MOST FROM BEN HOGAN WAS HIS WORK ETHIC. HE WAS NEVER SATISFIED. HE ALWAYS WORKED HARDER TO TRY AND GET BETTER. BEN HOGAN WAS A UNIQUE PERSON IN THAT I DON'T THINK HE WAS
THE MOST TALENTED AND GIFTED GOLFER THAT'S EVER PLAYED, BUT HE WORKED SO HARD TO FIGURE OUT A WAY THAT HE COULD DO IT, AND THAT'S THE IMPORTANT THING. YOU'VE GOT TO FIGURE OUT WHAT SWING WORKS BEST FOR YOU. THERE ISN'T ANY ONE SWING.
THERE ISN'T ANY SYSTEM TO PLAY GOLF AND I, I LEARNED A WORK ETHIC THAT I'VE TRIED TO INSTILL, ESPECIALLY IN MY
TOUR PLAYERS THAT I TEACH FROM BEN HOGAN AND IT WAS UNLIKE ANYONE'S OTHER THAN SAY TIGER WOODS TODAY.
A LOT OF WHICH IS IN YOUR NEW VIDEO. WE'RE GOING TO LET EVERYBODY KNOW WHERE THEY CAN GO AHEAD AND BUY THAT AS WE GO TO BREAK RIGHT HERE AND IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO BUY BUTCH'S
NEW VIDEO, AND I'M SURE YOU DO, SHORT AND SWEET, POWER PLAY, COURSE I.Q. HARMONVIDEOS.COM OR YOU CAN CALL 866-336-2152. ANOTHER GREAT VIDEO PRODUCED BY CONVERGENCE FILM AND TELEVISION HERE IN ORLANDO. HAPPY WITH IT, BUTCH?
I'M REALLY HAPPY WITH IT. TURNED OUT GREAT AND I HOPE THOSE PEOPLE WHO HAVE GOTTEN IT ENJOY IT AND THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE GOING TO GET IT, I THINK YOU'LL LIKE IT.
AGAIN, 866-336-2152 OR HARMONVIDEOS.COM TO ORDER YOURS.
Monty grabs lead entering final round in season-opener
KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Colin Montgomerie shot a second straight 7-under 65 to take a two-shot lead into the final round of the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.
The 54-year-old Scot, a six-time winner on the over-50 tour, didn't miss a fairway on Friday and made five birdies on the back nine to reach 14 under at Hualalai.
Montgomerie has made 17 birdies through 36 holes and said he will have to continue cashing in on his opportunities.
''We know that I've got to score something similar to what I've done – 66, 67, something like that, at least,'' Montgomerie said. ''You know the competition out here is so strong that if you do play away from the pins, you'll get run over. It's tough, but hey, it's great.''
First-round co-leaders Gene Sauers and Jerry Kelly each shot 68 and were 12 under.
''I hit the ball really well. You know, all the putts that dropped yesterday didn't drop today,'' Kelly said. ''I was just short and burning edges. It was good putting again. They just didn't go in.''
David Toms was three shots back after a 66. Woody Austin, Mark Calcavecchia and Doug Garwood each shot 67 and were another shot behind.
Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was six shots back after a 67.
The limited-field tournament on Hawaii's Big Island includes last season's winners, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.
''We've enjoyed ourselves thoroughly here,'' Montgomerie said. ''It's just a dramatic spot, isn't it? If you don't like this, well, I'm sorry, take a good look in the mirror, you know?''
The missing link: Advice from successful tour pros
Today’s topic is significant in that it underscores the direction golf is headed, a direction that has me a little concerned.
Now, more than ever, it has become the norm for PGA Tour players to put together a team to assist in all aspects of their career. These teams can typically include the player’s swing coach, mental coach, manager, workout specialist, dietician, physical therapist, short-game guru, doctor, accountant, nanny and wife. Though it often concerns me the player may be missing out when others are making decisions for them, that is not the topic.
I want to talk about what most players seem to be inexplicably leaving off their teams.
One of the things that separates great players from the rest of the pack – other than talent – is the great player’s ability to routinely stay comfortable and play with focus and clarity in all situations. Though innate to many, this skill is trainable and can be learned. Don’t get too excited, the details of such a plan are too long and more suited for a book than the short confines of this article.
So, if that aspect of the game is so important, where is the representative on the player’s team who has stood on the 18th tee with everything on the line? Where is the representative on the team who has experienced, over and over, what the player will be experiencing? In other words, where is the successful former tour player on the team?
You look to tennis and many players have such a person on their team. These teacher/mentors include the likes of Boris Becker, Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors and Brad Gilbert. Why is it not the norm in golf?
Sure, a few players have sought out the advice of Jack Nicklaus, but he’s not part of a team. The teaching ranks also include some former players like Butch Harmon and a few others. But how many teams include a player who has contended in a major, let alone won one or more?
I’m not here to argue the value and knowledge of all the other coaches who make up a player’s team. But how can the value of a successful tour professional be overlooked? If I’m going to ask someone what I should do in various situations on the course, I would prefer to include the experienced knowledge of players who have been there themselves.
This leads me to the second part of today’s message. Is there a need for the professional players to mix with professional teachers to deliver the best and most comprehensive teaching philosophy to average players? I feel there is.
Most lessons are concerned with changing the student’s swing. Often, this is done with little regard for how it feels to the student because the teacher believes the information is correct and more important than the “feels” of the student. “Stick with it until it’s comfortable” is often the message. This directive methodology was put on Twitter for public consumption a short time back:
Once we give 'em a lesson, we are faced with:— Trackman Maestro (@TrackmanMaestro) January 16, 2018
A. Will they do what we asked them to do
B. Can they do what we asked them to do
C. Will they put in the practice time
D. The fact that golf is a hard game
We face multiple barriers as golf instructors.
On the other hand, the professional player is an expert at making a score and understands the intangible side of the game. The intangible side says: “Mechanics cannot stand alone in making a good player.” The intangible side understands “people feel things differently”; ask Jim Furyk to swing like Dustin Johnson, or vice versa. This means something that looks good to us may not feel right to someone else.
The intangible side lets us know that mechanics and feels must walk together in order for the player to succeed. From Ben Hogan’s book:
“What I have learned I have learned by laborious trial and error, watching a good player do something that looked right to me, stumbling across something that felt right to me, experimenting with that something to see if it helped or hindered, adopting it if it helped, refining it sometimes, discarding it if it didn’t help, sometimes discarding it later if it proved undependable in competition, experimenting continually with new ideas and old ideas and all manner of variations until I arrived at a set of fundamentals that appeared to me to be right because they accomplished a very definite purpose, a set of fundamentals which proved to me they were right because they stood up and produced under all kinds of pressure.”
Hogan beautifully described the learning process that could develop the swings of great players like DJ, Furyk, Lee Trevino, Jordan Spieth, Nicklaus, etc.
Bob Toski is still teaching. Steve Elkington is helping to bring us the insight of Jackie Burke. Hal Sutton has a beautiful teaching facility outside of Houston. And so on. Just like mechanics and feels, it’s not either-or – the best message comes from both teachers and players.
Lately, it seems the scale has swung more to one side; let us not forget the value of insights brought to us by the players who have best mastered the game.
Woods, Rahm, Rickie, J-Day headline Torrey field
Tiger Woods is set to make his 2018 debut.
Woods is still part of the final field list for next week’s Farmers Insurance Open, the headliner of a tournament that includes defending champion Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and Jason Day.
In all, 12 of the top 26 players in the world are teeing it up at Torrey Pines.
Though Woods has won eight times at Torrey Pines, he hasn’t broken 71 in his past seven rounds there and hasn’t played all four rounds since 2013, when he won. Last year he missed the cut after rounds of 76-72, then lasted just one round in Dubai before he withdrew with back spasms.
After a fourth back surgery, Woods didn’t return to competition until last month’s Hero World Challenge, where he tied for ninth.
Woods has committed to play both the Farmers Insurance Open and next month's Genesis Open at Riviera, which benefits his foundation.
Even on 'off' day, Rahm shoots 67 at CareerBuilder
Jon Rahm didn’t strike the ball as purely Friday as he did during his opening round at the CareerBuilder Challenge.
He still managed a 5-under 67 that put him just one shot off the lead heading into the weekend.
“I expected myself to go to the range (this morning) and keep flushing everything like I did yesterday,” said Rahm, who shot a career-low 62 at La Quinta on Thursday. “Everything was just a little bit off. It was just one of those days.”
After going bogey-free on Thursday, Rahm mixed four birdies and two bogeys over his opening six holes. He managed to settle down around the turn, then made two birdies on his final three holes to move within one shot of Andrew Landry (65).
Rahm has missed only five greens through two rounds and sits at 15-under 129.
The 23-year-old Spaniard won in Dubai to end the year and opened 2018 with a runner-up finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. He needs a top-6 finish or better this week to supplant Jordan Spieth as the No. 2 player in the world.