Forget your score and mix it up to get out of a funk

By Andy GriffithsMay 3, 2013, 2:00 pm

The nature of golf dictates that it will never be mastered.

I am sure that is what makes it the best game ever created; the fact that every single round played could have been that tiny bit better.

Of course, if you want to make sure that you do not get beaten up by this game, you have to take joy in great shots and all of the fantastic experiences out on the course.

However, if you’re not currently improving, what can you do about it?

You may want to consider taking a few coaching sessions, but here are some ways to smash out of that slump and enjoy your game more.

 Play A Shorter Course: Maybe, just for fun, go out and play your regular golf course but go forward a set of tees, or maybe even two. You may find that you are able to get close to some par-4 greens with your drive or have a short iron into the often treacherous par-4s. I often see people with a particular scoring hurdle that they just can’t get over feel a lot more comfortable after a round or two of this. They see their scores drop and it makes them believe this is possible. This belief carries over, even when they go back to the regular length course.

 Mix It Up: The 12th hole at your course ... it is always a driver from the tee, right? Why? Is it because it ALWAYS has been? If you are in a little slump, something needs to change. Try mixing up the clubs you hit; maybe play a bit more aggressive and hit driver off a tee when you normally wouldn’t. On that extremely tight par-5, hit your 4-iron and play it like the par 5 that it is. Chances are, the stroke index of the hole means that the real par for you on the hole is six anyway. Try to figure out some different ways to play familiar holes and see what it does for your enjoyment levels and also your scorecard.

 Lose The Scorecard: I challenge you to go out and play your next round of golf with no focus at all on the score you have, just on making sure you enjoy the game. Think back to a stressful situation where you were being marked or judged on what you do. For me, that would include my driving test! Knowing that someone was sitting there judging me wasn’t the greatest feeling and didn’t help me achieve the best possible performance. The next time you play, adopt the mentality of just going out to enjoy a round. You may be pleasantly surprised by the effect it has on your level of play.

From experience, I know these ideas can help you smash out of a lull in performance. Good luck and get playing your best golf again soon.

Take an online lesson from Andy Griffiths.

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McCoy earns medalist honors at Q-School

By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Tour Q-School.

McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

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Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.



Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

"We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."

Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout

Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.