David Leadbetter - October 19, 2012

By Morning Drive TeamOctober 19, 2012, 11:48 am

When asked about what his teaching methodology is, Leadbetter said that he does not necessarily have a standard method when it comes to teaching. Communication is incredibly important when you are teaching and every student receives information in different ways. You do not want to change a player’s style. Instead, you want to add a new technique to their style which will then make them better players.

Athleticism has become such a big part of success in the game of golf and you can look all the way back to Nick Faldo as he was one of the first big name players to adopt the modern methods of staying in shape. Suzann Pettersen, another one of his students, is arguably the most athletic player on the entire LPGA Tour. As the game of golf becomes more global and players travel all over the world, it is so important to be physically fit if you are going to be able to compete at the highest level and endure the travel.

The best players in golf all have a high sense of self-confidence in common and you have to have that confidence if you are going to be successful. It is not arrogance but instead a sense of confidence that you are not only capable of being successful on the golf course, but that you will be successful.

Michelle Wie has been a bit of a mystery over the last couple of years. She seems to just now be coming to terms with the fact that she has graduated from college and is now playing golf as a professional full-time. Whether it is related to her swing or to her confidence, Michelle has not played well over the last year and a half. Any future success that she will have in her career depends on  her ability to believe in her herself and her desire to succeed at the highest levels of the game of golf.

Ty Tryon is a great example of a young prodigy who turned pro too early. Tryon was an unbelievably talented player who accomplished a great deal at a young age but he needed life experience and a support system around him at that age. Everyone in professional golf goes through growing pains and when you are a teenager, you cannot go through such changes without a strong support system and he may not have had the support that he needed at that stage in his life.

The advent of video as a teaching tool for pros and amateurs in the game of golf has helped every player and every level. Video has not only helped players by showing them what their swing really looks like, it has also helped teachers because video provides them a powerful method of illustrating the strengths and weaknesses of someone’s swing.

When he worked with Nick Faldo, Leadbetter said that Faldo’s confidence level grew a great deal when he was able to change his swing and become a better player. Once Faldo believed that he could control his swing and control the flight of the golf ball under any circumstances, he had the confidence that he needed to go from a good player to literally the best player in the world. Faldo enjoyed having Leadbetter around and Leadbetter would give Faldo little tips to help his game on a day-to-day or week-to-week level in the way that Butch Harmon helps Phil Mickelson with his game.

Years ago, most players – even the best in the world – did not employ coaches in part because there was not a lot of money in professional golf and the professionals could not afford to have a coach and certainly could not afford to have a team of people. When you would see a player with a coach decades ago, it was an unusual sight. As times have changed and there is more money in the game of golf, it has now become unusual when a professional golfer does not have a coach.

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Suspended Hensby offers details on missed drug test

By Will GrayDecember 12, 2017, 11:30 pm

One day after receiving a one-year suspension from the PGA Tour for failing to provide a sample for a drug test, Mark Hensby offered details on the events that led to his missed test in October.

Hensby, 46, released a statement explaining that the test in question came after the opening round of the Sanderson Farms Championship, where the Aussie opened with a 78. Frustrated about his play, Hensby said he was prepared to give a blood sample but was then informed that the test would be urine, not blood.

"I had just urinated on the eighth hole, my 17th hole that day, and knew that I was probably unable to complete the urine test for at least a couple more hours," Hensby said. "I told this gentleman that I would complete the test in the morning prior to my early morning tee time. Another gentleman nearby told me that 'they have no authority to require me to stay.' Thus, I left."

Hensby explained that he subsequently received multiple calls and texts from PGA Tour officials inquiring as to why he left without providing a sample and requesting that he return to the course.

"I showed poor judgment in not responding," said Hensby, who was subsequently disqualified from the tournament.

Hensby won the 2004 John Deere Classic, but he has missed six cuts in seven PGA Tour starts over the last two years. He will not be eligible to return to the Tour until Oct. 26, 2018.

"Again, I made a terrible decision to not stay around that evening to take the urine test," Hensby said. "Obviously in hindsight I should have been more patient, more rational and taken the test. Call me stupid, but don't call me a cheater. I love the game. I love the integrity that it represents, and I would never compromise the values and qualities that the game deserves."

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Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

“I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

“I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.

Masters victory

Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative

Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ

Green jacket tour

Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket

Man of the people

Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief

Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together

Ace at 17th at Sawgrass

Growing family

Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018

Departure from TaylorMade

Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade

Squashed beef with Paddy

Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'

Victory at Valderrama

Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm