Golf Talk Live - Freddie Haas Transcript Segment 4
NOW YOU HAVE TOLD ME THAT YOU KNOW THE SECRET OF PUTTING AND THAT YOU UNDERSTAND PUTTING. TEACH US.
WELL, I THINK I UNDERSTAND HOW TO ELIMINATE STRESS AND STRAIN FROM YOUR PUTTING AND MOST OF YOUR STRAIN COMES ON A SIX FOOT AND SHORTER PUTT. WITNESS WHAT HAPPENED IN THE NATIONAL OPEN.
WHAT HAPPENED OVER THERE IN THE BRITISH SENIOR. WHEN YOU GET A PUTT FROM HERE, YOU'VE GOT NO CINCH TO MAKE IT, I CAN ASSURE YOU AND IF YOU'RE PUTTING BY FEEL, YOU'LL FEEL
EVERY DAY IS GOING TO CHANGE, BUT IF YOU'VE GOT A SYSTEM, IF YOU'VE GOT A SYSTEM THAT SYSTEM WILL HOLD UP AND GARDNER DICKINSON AND I WORKED VERY HARD ON FINDING OUT WHY WE MISSED SOMETIMES TO THE LEFT AND SOMETIMES TO THE RIGHT AND IT'S VERY SIMPLE.
WE FOUND THAT WHEN WE HIT THE BALL ON THE TOE OF THE CLUB IT GOES TO THE RIGHT.
IF YOU HIT THE BALL ON THE HEEL IT GOES TO THE LEFT. HOW MANY TIMES HAVE YOU PULLED A PUTT AND YOU KNOW YOU'VE HIT THE DARNED THING IN THE HEEL? GRAVITY IS STILL
ALMOST EVERY TIME
(LAUGHS) I'D SAY EXACTLY. SO, SUPPOSE THAT IF WE KNOW THAT THE PUTT, IF YOU CAN READ IT, AND YOU KNOW IT'S GOING TO BREAK FROM RIGHT TO LEFT, ELIMINATE ONE THIRD OF YOUR POSSIBLE MISSES. HOW CAN YOU DO THAT?
IF YOU LINE IT UP ON THE TOE, ON A RIGHT TO LEFT YOU SURE SHOULD NOT HIT IT IN THE HEEL, RIGHT?
REVERSE. LEFT TO RIGHT. IF YOU LINE UP IN THE HEEL, YOU'RE GOING TO HIT IT ON THE TOE, IF SO YOU'RE DEAD IN THE WATER BEFORE YOU STARTED. FORGET IT, SO YOU GOT TO HAVE A STROKE, BUT, I
CAN ASSURE YOU THAT IF YOU HIT THE BALL ON THE TOE IT'S GOING TO GO TO THE RIGHT AND IF YOU HIT THE BALL IN THE HEEL, I'VE MISSED A MILLION.
IT'S GOING TO THE LEFT. NOW THE TOUGHEST PUTT IS WHAT? A STRAIGHT PUTT. I TALKED TO NICK PRICE ABOUT THAT. WHAT A WONDERFUL RUN HE HAD IN THE 90'S RIGHT?
HE PLAYED GREAT. HE WAS THE BEST PLAYER IN THE WORLD. NO QUESTION ABOUT IT. I SAID TO HIM, WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN YOU AND TIGER WOODS NOW? HE SAID TIGER'S MAKING THE 15, 20, 25 FOOTERS AND I'M NOT MAKING ANY.
I SAID WHERE ARE YOU TRYING TO HIT THE BALL? HE SAID WHAT DO YOU MEAN. I SAID WHERE ARE YOU TRYING TO HIT IT ON THE FACE.
HE SAID I'M TRYING TO HIT IT IN THE CENTER. I SAID YOU TRY TO HIT IT IN THE CENTER ON A RIGHT TO LEFT BREAKING PUTT? HE SAID YEAH. I SAID SO YOU'RE NOT PLAYING A 90 DEGREES, YOU'RE PLAYING WHAT? 91 AND A HALF DEGREE?
I SAID THAT'S KIND OF TOUGH ISN'T IT? I SAID IN
90 DEGREES BEING ABSOLUTELY SQUARE.
EXACTLY. PRECISELY. SO I SAID WHY DON'T YOU PLAY THE ODDS? ELIMINATE THE POSSIBILITY OF YOU PULLING THE BALL. BALLS DON'T GO UP HERE, THEY
GO DOWN HERE, SO I SAID KEEP IT ON THE HIGH SIDE, IT MIGHT FALL IN. IT'S NOT GOING TO COME UP. SO I SAID MAYBE THAT'S WHY YOU'RE TRYING TO HIT THE BALL IN THE CENTER OF THE BLADE ON
THOSE 15, 20 FOOT PUTTS AND YOU'RE MISS HITTING THEM A LITTLE. ARE YOU MISSING THEM ON THE LEFT OR THE RIGHT?
HE SAYS FRED I REALLY HAVEN'T GONE INTO THAT. I SAID WELL DON'T YOU THINK IT'S WORTH GOING INTO IT?... THINK ABOUT IT, AND IF IT'LL TAKE PRESSURE OFF OF YOU FROM SIX FEET AND IN, IT SURE AIN'T GOING TO HURT YOU ON A 20 OR 25 FOOTER.
ACTUALLY HE DID PUTT AFTER YOU TWO CHATTED MUCH BETTER THE NEXT SIX WEEKS AND SOME OF THAT MAY BE ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE CHAT YOU HAD.
WELL I DON'T KNOW ABOUT THAT BUT I KNOW HE WAS TIED FOR THE LEAD AND SHOULD HAVE POSSIBLY WON THE NELSON AND IT'D BE NICE IF HE'D USED SOME PORTION OF IT IF IT HELPED HIM.
NICK, KNOCK THEM IN THE CUP BABE, BUT DON'T MISS THE BALL BY HITTING IT ON THE HEEL OR THE TOE WHEN YOU'RE TRYING TO HIT IT IN THE CENTER OF THE FACE.
YOU TOLD US EARLIER IN THE SHOW THAT ONE OF YOUR GOLF GOALS WAS TO WIN THE NCAA INDIVIDUAL CHAMPIONSHIP
WHICH OF COURSE YOU DID IN 1937, AS WE GO TO THIS BREAK LET'S TAKE A LOOK AT A PICTURE OF YOU AND SOME OF YOUR TEAMMATES FROM THAT YEAR AT LSU.
OH THAT'S PAUL LESLEY, BRIAN ADAMS AND LAURENCE LARCADE.
YOU'RE SECOND FROM OUR RIGHT AS WE LOOK AT IT, YES?
WELL I'M THE ONE THERE THAT'S OFF SIDE RIGHT
(LAUGHS) SET UP READY TO HIT A GOLF BALL.
THAT'S RIGHT. THE BEST PLAYER IN THAT GROUP IS PAUL LESLIE.
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.