Jim McLean Chat Transcript

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 21, 2000, 5:00 pm
mikey - what should come first... a good club fitting or a fundametally good golf swing?
J_McLean - I definalty believe a good golf swing comes first,you can have the greatest set of golf clubs in the world and a bad swing will render them uselessly so work on your golf swing until you improve your technique and then it's time to see the club fair.
SPM - Dear, Jim, what do you feel are good traits to look for when selecting a golf instructor.
J_McLean - this is an excellent question, first look for a teacher with a long list of students, do not be afraid to ask any teacher his or her ideas and where they learn their concept of teaching. I would look for a teacher who has excellent golf knowledge, is willing to give you a list of people to call, and has the time and desire to work with all aspects of your game.
pete - Jim, What's the best drill to preventthe left arm 'chicken wing'?
J_McLean - the left elbow breaking down through impact is a very common problem, usually causes from an open club face as you start down, the open club face causes the golfer to swing outside in so as to keep the golf ball in play but the club coming outside in the club is getting nearer to your left leg, and as a result there is very little extension.
J_McLean - the best drill is a split grip drill, where by using a 7iron, split your hands about two inches apart, then make small swings back and through maintaining the extension you had at setup, that means going through the ball your right hand will be further from your body and your left hand will be closer to your body, with practice this drill will cure chicken wing
hotair - Do you have a conditioning guide for us shut ins?
Doug_F - Mr. Mclean: I know from watching some of your videos and previous visits to Academy Live that you advocate starting the downswing with the lower body. I have been working on that in my game but have not been having much success. Do you have any drills that can help me learn the feel of that move?
J_McLean - the winter time is a great time to work on your golf stretches and overall conditiong. hopefully, you will continue a program yearround. a great book on conditioning is written by Paul Chek I don't have the title but you can get it at any library.
cigbob - Hi guys, my question is how can I keep from coming over the top of the ball and swinging from the outside to inside?
J_McLean - You are correct, I advocate a golf swing that closely corresponds to other hitting and throwing actions are used in all sports.
J_McLean - That means sequence is crucial to solid and powerful ball striking. therefore we use the same sequence in golf,it's an athletic move. To start forward, shift or make a slight lateral bump of the left hip, you can practice this by using a great harvey penick drill, from the top of the back swing starting down practice putting your left heel on the ground and
J_McLean - making your right elbow drop, these two movements happen at the same time not independenly, practice this move over and over at home, and at the range. this should help you get the right feel.
JONESY - How long should the clubface look at the ball at the start of the swing?
J_McLean - as the club moves away from the golf ball, it starts to swing inside and up. as this happens, the toe of the club appears to open smoothly, the club face is actually is staying square to the arc,that said, there are varying acceptable club face postions, one is the club face staying at the ball a bit longer the other is the club face staying square to the arc, the mistake is rolling the face open early in the back swing. thats the real killer.
TGC_Modr - Jim, nextiger asks, I have a problem where in the impact zone, I don't let the club release and tend to leave it open. How could i get myself into the habit of releasing the club?
J_McLean - first id like to see you hit lots of small shots off a tee making the ball draw, this can be done rather quickly. in order to do it you have to relax your grip pressure and focus on the right hand brushing over the left, concentrate on hitting low draws
J_McLean - once you succeed at this increase the lenght of your swing.
Bogey4Me - Jim is taking a diviot a result of ball position or swing plane or both? Thanks....
J_McLean - actually its both, the ball for most iron shots should be placed near the center of your stance, this makes it much easier for golfers to take a divit.
J_McLean - swing playing is a bit more complicated, you can miss the ground either by being under the plane causing a shallow angle of attack or you can be over the plane which often causes the left wrist to break down prematurely
J_McLean - so therefore, have a professional or student of the game tape you from down the target line, believe me getting a club coming down the right track, it is crucial.
tommy - When you are doing the drills at home how do you know that you are not putting a hook or slice in your game?
jonnyo - Its your son, Jon
J_McLean - john im glad your listening, i wish you were here helping me, i need a free drop. see you tomorrow.
golfer01 - New golfer here +/- 4weeks want is a good drill for getting solid contact with the ball?
J_McLean - first, put your hands in the club correctly, ill need you to see someone who really knows what they're doing, next build a good stance, third practice a true swinging action back and through and hitting the same spot on the ground time after time
rickc - JIM: On the show you discussed a drill using the right hand to take the club to the top. How do you keep the right from over powering the left on the down swing and what should you feeling be?
J_McLean - i assume you're right handed and therefore you're probably much more coordinated with your right side, if that is correct then time your right hand and right arm so that the release happens at the bottom of your golf swing
J_McLean - to get the feel turn the club upside down and practice the swish drill. try to hear the loudest noise at the bottom of your swing, do this drill with your right arm only, its amazing how quickly this helps many golfers.
Cade - Jim, I seem to have too much loft with my lowered number irons (3,5). What can I do to correct this
J_McLean - whenever a golfer is getting too much loft or heighth on their golf shots, then i look for an early release of the hands or a hang back of the body. often golfers try to add loft to long irons, its a common problem instead you must trust your swing and the true loft of your iron. i would suggest that you make practice swings stopping at impact
J_McLean - at this stop point check to see that you are actually taking loft off the club and the shaft is leaning toward the target, you can also hit an impact bag or some towels that you put against a wall.
dotcom - Jim, what can a right handed golfer do for a problem that consists of their left foot 'kicking out' on the downswing and through impact -- kind of like swinging a baseball bat type of motion?!?!?!
J_McLean - this is a problem that Tom Kite had when i worked extensively with him through the early 80's. Tom corrected this problem by having me or his caddy or somebody actually hold his left foot down when he hit, i also had him visualize a huge spike in the middle of his left foot which would not allow the foot to roll over or spin
J_McLean - it worked, he won the us open in 1992!
TGC_Modr - golfer01 asks, Is making a divot nessecary when using an iron?
J_McLean - i'd like to see a very small divot, some great players like Jack Nicklaus and Greg Norman take very shallow divots. on the other hand, golfers like Tiger Woods, and Lee Trevino take some monster divots. to hit a ball solid and spin it you need to strike on at least a slight desending blow with a flat or bowed left wrist.
BIGDRIVE - Jim, Do you feel that any training aids on market do a good job of teaching swing plane ie split grip club on infomercial?
J_McLean - actually im not an advocate of that split grip club. the clubs that have a laser light seem to help many golfers understand swing playing but you can do the same thing by putting a tee in the vent hole of your grip.
duffer - What do you say to a 22 year old wo is playing is a tournament and starts to lose concentration when he's in the hunt?
J_McLean - id think about enrolling him in the marines for some toughening. just kidding! however, a lack of focus may show some fear, lack of conditoning, or a swing flaw. it takes time to get comfortable in pressure situations, read books on this subject and watch the professionals carefully, notice everything they do as they come down the stretch
dbzjw - jim,what can i do when i tend to go through my backswing too fast?
J_McLean - very common problem, indicates too much hands and not enough syncrination of the club, hands, arms, and shoulders. it is critical that you start away smoothly and all together . a poor take away or fast move off the ball will always lead to incosistent golf shots.
Phillip - My swing is too steep. How can I correct this problem?
friar - in the past two years, I have lost 40 lbs through diet and exercise, what should I practice to regain the length and timing in my golf swing?
J_McLean - hold the club at waist height and start your back swing from this positon you can flatten your back swing in several ways, 1. make a flatter shoulder turn 2. rotate your left forearm in the back swing 3. make 3/4 swings with the grip of club pointed back at the target line stop at this positon make sure the club is on the plane and then swing from this position, its a stop and go drill
Loafer - Hi Jim, First, thanks for helping us...second, I hit my irons and fairway woods straight and long but can't get it together with my driver...any suggestions?
J_McLean - i first thought is your driver does not match up well with the rest of your clubs, i would highly suggest that you go to a top club fitter,somebody who really knows the game and has top line equipment.
dbzjw - what can you say about playing in the rain after myself losing my club while hitting over a hazard?
J_McLean - growing up in Seattle I played in rain constantly well actually it was pretty nice in july and august. you must learn to keep your grips dry ive done this by having several towels in my bag and a good over all of my clubs, if you're riding in a cart you need a rain hood otherwise a cart is a killer in rain almost impossible to keep the clubs dry. i would carry my clubs before taking a cart if at all possible
J_McLean - also, have extra gloves, and good rain gear. be extra prepared for rainy days.
pingI3 - What's the proper hand position at address when using offset irons? Over the ball or ahead of the ball?
J_McLean - off set irons automatically help place the hands ahead of the ball thats one reason they are so popular. i like to see the hands placed off the inside of the left thigh, if your hands are between the seam of your slacks or the center of your body you are in an acceptable position,the standard posiotin would be hands slightly ahead but
J_McLean - im only talking about a few degrees of shaft lean toward the target.
TGC_Modr - (Sorry for the delay, ping13)
RickL - Jim, do you recommend your students bend the wrist a little going back in putting?
J_McLean - on short putts this is not necessary but many good putters do have slight wrist set even on short on longer putts youll get much better feel and distance control by using some wrist action.
dbzjw - jim, when i am hitting out of a bunker do i need to try to throw alot of sand on the green?
J_McLean - on a long bunker shot, you will through sand further out of a bunker on a very short bunker shot the sand may not get out of the bunker, probably wont. it also depends on the type of sand you are playing out of, i do like the thought of throwing sand out on the green for most bunker shots.
TGC_Modr - We have a few more minutes, folks...any final questions?
Loafer - Me again...I occasionally hook my low irons and wedges too much on approach shots...any suggestions?
J_McLean - occasionally is good, often is bad. probably indicates that your body rotation is slowing down when this happens we get a wrapping effect of the club which causes the hook
golfpro - my body gets in the way on my downswing right arm stays stuck behind need a drill to coordinate my lowering from the top of my swing to impact the shift? left knee or right knee or lower arms 20 handicapppppheeelllpppp!!!!
J_McLean - this is a difficult problem that is see from time to time at the school, its caused by a conscience effort to swing inside out and it will take a dedicated effort to break this habit. here are a couple of ideas, keep your right shoulder higher, keep your right hip higher, try to get your hands away and out as you start down, take divots that start left a good drill is to get into a super close stance put the ball off your left toe and practice hitting fades.
TGC_Modr - ***To book lessons with Jim, visit www.jimmclean.com***
rickc - JIM: In your Hogan tape Hogan says to keep the right elbow pointed down . How long does it stay that way -won't it go out as you release?
J_McLean - hogan is talking the right elbow at the top of the backswing, this does cause a flatter left arm playing you should know that many great players carry the right elbow higher so its not imparative
J_McLean - if you look at Tiger Woods you will also see his right elbow pointed almost straight down at the top of his back swing.
J_McLean - its not a bad thing to work towards, but, how you start down is much more important.
TGC_Modr - Well, that's a wrap for this evening. Thanks for joining us with Jim McLean in TheGolfChannel.com's Pure Golf Experience!
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Post-Masters blitz 'exhausting' but Reed ready for return

By Ryan LavnerApril 25, 2018, 8:24 pm

AVONDALE, La. – After briefly suffering from First-Time Major Winner Fatigue, Patrick Reed is eager to get back inside the ropes this week at the Zurich Classic.

The media blitz is an eye-opening experience for every new major champ. Reed had been told to expect not to get any sleep for about a week after his win, and sure enough he jetted off to New York City for some sightseeing, photo shoots, baseball games, late-night talk shows, phone calls and basketball games, sitting courtside in the green jacket at Madison Square Garden next to comedian Chris Rock, personality Michael Strahan and rapper 2 Chainz. Then he returned home to Houston, where the members at Carlton Woods hosted a reception in his honor.

With Reed’s head still spinning, his wife, Justine, spent the better part of the past two weeks responding to each of the 880 emails she received from fans and well-wishers.

“It’s been a lot more exhausting than I thought it’d be,” he said Wednesday at TPC Louisiana, where he’ll make his first start since the Masters.

It’s a good problem to have, of course.

Reed was already planning a family vacation to the Bahamas the week after Augusta, so the media tour just took its place. As many directions as he was pulled, as little sleep as he got, Reed said, “We still had a blast with it.”

Zurich Classic of New Orleans: Articles, photos and videos

There are few places better to ease into his new world than at the Zurich, where he’ll partner with Patrick Cantlay for the second year in a row.

Reed wants to play well, not only for himself but also his teammate. After all, it could be an important week for Cantlay, who is on U.S. Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk’s radar after a victory last fall. That didn’t earn him any Ryder Cup points, however – he sits 38th in the standings – so performing well here in fourballs and foursomes could go a long way toward impressing the captain.

“There’s maybe a little extra if we play well,” Cantlay said, “but I’m just trying to play well every week.” 

Reed got back to work on his game last Tuesday. He said that he’s prepared, ready to play and looking forward to building off his breakthrough major.

“A lot of guys have told me to just be careful with your time,” he said. “There will be a lot of things you didn’t have to do or didn’t have in the past that are going to come up.

“But first things first, you’ve got to go out and grind and play some good golf and focus on golf, because the time you stay and not focus on golf will be the time you go backward. That’s nothing any of us want. We all want to improve and get better.”

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Success and failure more than wins and losses

By Rex HoggardApril 25, 2018, 7:04 pm

It was a vulnerable moment for James Hahn that was driven by emotion and unflinching self-examination.

Hahn had just dropped a tough decision to Patton Kizzire, losing on the sixth extra hole at January’s Sony Open, so the feelings were raw and his mind was still digesting the missed opportunity.

“I feel like losing sticks with me longer than winning,” he allowed.

Put another way, Hahn, a two-time winner on the PGA Tour, acknowledged that he hates losing more than he likes winning, which is all at once understanding for an elite athlete and curious coming from a professional golfer.

Tiger Woods has played 334 Tour events in his career and won 79 times. That’s a 24-percent winning clip, which would get you sent to the minor leagues in professional baseball but is the benchmark for greatness in golf.

Perhaps Jack Nicklaus is an even more apropos example, considering that the Golden Bear played 164 majors in his career and won 18, more than any other player. Even if you edit that scorecard to only count Nicklaus’ Grand Slam starts during his prime, let’s say through the 1986 season when he won his last major, that’s a .166 batting average.

“When it comes to golf it’s tough to have that mentality, because you lose a lot more than you win. Even Tiger in his hay day was losing a lot more than he was winning,” Wesley Bryan said. “I definitely hate losing, but there’s a caveat: I hate losing to my brother more than I like winning.”

But the statistical reality of golf doesn’t discount Hahn’s take, it simply suggests there’s a more nuanced way of defining how the win/loss column impacts Tour types.

In the case of Nicklaus, it’s not just those 18 majors that assures his spot as one of the greatest; it’s also his 19 runner-up finishes in Grand Slam starts that pads his resume. Although Nicklaus is often reluctant to revisit those near misses, and there are a few of those also-rans for which he’d passionately embrace a cosmic mulligan, there’s something to be said for simply having the opportunity.

“I hate losing, losing stinks, but at least if you put yourself there it’s better than if you didn’t put yourself there,” explained Billy Horschel, a four-time winner on Tour. “We lose a lot, we lose more than any other professional athlete. Do you get accustomed to losing? Yeah maybe, but you hate not having the chance to at least win.”

Horschel isn’t making excuses or giving himself psychological cover, he’s simply being realistic. Even the best seasons, like Justin Thomas’ five-victory outing in 2017 that included a major triumph (PGA Championship) and Tour Player of the Year honors, features what in any other sport would be considered a losing record (he played 25 events).

Even Woods, who for much of his career adhered to a strict “second sucks” mindset, has found some solace in moral victories following multiple injuries and medical setbacks in recent years.

“We’re all so competitive out here and when you’re going head-to-head like that you’re wanting to win so bad,” Harris English said. “Losing sucks, but with golf you lose a whole lot more than you win. You’ve got to be a pretty good loser.”

Success in golf is relative and requires a subtle scale to measure progress. For many, a top-10 finish is all the validation they need to push forward, while for others, like Horschel, progress is measured by winning opportunities.

The joy of victory and pain of defeat is evident each Sunday on Tour, the emotions often etched into a player’s face with equal clarity. But for many, simply making or missing the cut can produce just as much emotion.

“If you miss a cut you don’t have a chance to win, that’s the worst feeling in the world,” Horschel said. “I could lose in a playoff, like to Jason Day [at the 2017 AT&T Byron Nelson, which Horschel won], that would’ve sucked, but I don’t think it would have sucked as much as me missing the cut. I hate not having a chance.”

The fine line between victory and defeat can also be defined on a much more personal level for some. In other sports, you are what your record says you are, but in golf you can be what the opportunity provided. Although it’s a fine line with infinite shades of success and failure, there is a notion in golf that sometimes you lose an event and sometimes you’re beaten.

It was a distinction that Hahn at the Sony Open had little interest in, but with time can allow a player to make an à la carte assessment that’s emotionally detached from what the box score may say.

“It’s all about you giving it your all,” English said. “If you did everything you could, if you hit the shots you wanted to, if you hit the putts you wanted to, under that situation that’s all you can do. If someone outplays you, so be it.”

Hahn’s point is no less valid, even the game’s greatest contend you learn more from defeat than you do victory, and it’s competitive nature to, as he explained, hate losing more than you like winning. But in professional golf defining what’s a win and what’s a loss, is very much a sliding scale.

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Listen up: All the walk-up songs for Zurich Classic teams

By Golf Channel DigitalApril 25, 2018, 6:28 pm

Teams that make it to the weekend at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans will be accompanied by walk-up music to the first tee. The top 35 teams will qualify for weekend play. Here's a look at what the two-man teams have chosen:

Team                                         Song                                      Artist                                       
William McGirt/Sam Burns Callin’ Baton Rouge Garth Brooks
Kevin Na/Byeong Hun An Make ’em say Uhh Master P
Chris Kirk/J.T. Poston Crazy Train Ozzy Osbourne
Chez Reavie/Lucas Glover For Whom the Bell Tolls Metallica
Martin Piller/Joel Dahmen Lovumba Daddy Yankee
K.J. Choi/Charlie Wi Gangnam Style PSY
Ryan Armour/Johnson Wagner Enter Sandman Metallica
C.T. Pan/Zac Blair Half Time Ying Yang Twins
Tyrone Van Aswegen/Retief Goosen Africa Toto
Tom Hoge/J.J. Henry Right Now Van Halen
Shawn Stefani/John Rollins Thunderstruck AC/DC
Tony Finau/Daniel Summerhays Doo Wa Ditty (Blow That Thing) Zapp & Roger
Keith Mitchell/Stephan Jaeger Pizza Guy Touch Sensitive
Ben Silverman/Matt Atkins Enter Sandman Metallica
Zach Johnson/Jonathan Byrd Thunderstruck AC/DC
Patrick Reed/Patrick Cantlay Eye of the Tiger Survivor
Greg Chalmers/Cameron Percy Down Under Men at Work
Keegan Bradley/Jon Curran Shipping up to Boston Dropkick Murphys
Brendan Steele/Jamie Lovemark California Love Tupac
Charley Hoffman/Nick Watney California Love Tupac
Billy Horschel/Scott Piercy Young Forever Jay Z ft. Mrs. Hudson
Cody Gribble/John Peterson Careless Whisper George Michael
Steve Stricker/Jerry Kelly As Good As I Once Was Toby Keith
Chris Stroud/Brian Stuard Enter Sandman Metallica
Sergio Garcia/Rafa Cabrera Bello The Best Tina Turner
Kevin Tway/Kelly Kraft Gucci Gang Lil Pump
D.A. Points/Kyle Thompson Working for the Weekend Loverboy
Mac Hughes/Corey Conners Big League Tom Cochrane & Red Rider
Justin Thomas/Bud Cauley Circle of Life Carmen Twillie
Shane Lowry/Padraig Harrington Beautiful Day U2
Russell Knox/Martin Laird Flower of Scotland  
Gary Woodland/Daniel Berger Forever Drake
Brandon Harkins/Lanto Griffin Started From the Bottom Drake
Kevin Kisner/Scott Brown Slippery Migos
Andrew Landry/Talor Gooch Big Poppa Notorious BIG
Jason Day/Ryan Ruffels Down Under Men at Work
Justin Rose/Henrik Stenson Gold Spandau Ballet
Matt Every/Sam Saunders Running With the Devil Van Halen
Jon Rahm/Wesley Bryan DNA Kendrick Lamar
Emiliano Grillo/Peter Uihlein Mi Gente (Remix) J Balvin, Willy William, Busta K.
Jamie Donaldson/Ross Fisher Sweet Disposition The Temper Trap
Harold Varner III/Robert Garrigus Ebony and Ivory Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder
Alex Cejka/Ben Crane Here I Go Again Whitesnake
Abraham Ancer/Roberto Diaz Mexico Lindo y Querido Vicente Fernandez
Xinjun Zhang/Zecheng Dou Believe in Myself Zero Point Band
Lilia Vu, Collin Morikawa, Andrea Lee Getty Images

College season one for the record books

By Nicole RaeApril 25, 2018, 4:50 pm

March Madness may be over, but in the college golf world, the madness is just beginning.

With NCAA Division I Regionals the next two weeks, championship season is officially underway, which means it’s time for college golf to again swing into the spotlight. And rightfully so. This is turning out to be a record-breaking season, and the excitement around this year’s NCAA Championships is brewing.

In this wrap-around college campaign, five different NCAA Division I men’s teams have won four or more events. Oklahoma State leads the way with eight wins, seven of which came in consecutive starts to tie the school’s single-season winning streak, set in 1986-87. The most wins in one season for the Cowboys is 10, and with a home-course advantage at this year’s NCAA Championships, they’re setting themselves up for a good shot at another record – and a national title.

On the women’s side, three teams have notched half-a-dozen wins each. Arkansas won the SEC Championship for the first time in program history to earn their sixth victory of the year, while Southern California has won six times with four freshmen in their starting lineup. Top-ranked UCLA captured its sixth win at the Pac-12 Championship by a 12-shot margin, leaving the last three national champions coughing in the dust.

More NCAA articles and videos on College Central

Much of UCLA’s success this season can be credited to powerhouse junior Lilia Vu. She captured four individual titles in as many starts earlier this season, a repeat of the feat she also accomplished last year. Along with being the top-ranked amateur in the world, her most recent victory etched her name in the record books, setting a Bruins women’s golf record for most career wins (8) and 54-hole scoring record (14 under par).

Stanford’s Andrea Lee has also been on the record-breaking trend. The 2017 Freshman of the Year set a new Cardinal freshman scoring average last season, and is currently on track to break the sophomore scoring record this season. Lee is just one win shy of tying the Stanford women’s career victories record of eight, and she hasn’t even finished her second full season.

College golfers are getting better and better, and they’ve got the scoring averages to prove it.

The Golfstat Cup is an annual award given at the end of the season to the men’s and women’s collegiate golfers with the lowest adjusted scoring average who played a minimum of 20 stroke-play rounds.

It’s no surprise that Vu leads the women’s side, with a scoring average of 69.95. What is surprising, however, is how much scoring averages are improving. Ten years ago, Duke’s Amanda Blumenherst won the award with a scoring average of 71.00. Another decade before that, in 1998, fellow Blue Devil Jenny Chuasiriporn led the standings with a 72.94 scoring average – nearly three strokes higher than Vu. In the 2017-18 season, the entire top 10 in scoring average fall below a 71.00.

The men are faring well, themselves. California junior Collin Morikawa leads the Golfstat Cup standings with a 68.67 scoring average. PGA Tour superstar Rickie Fowler took the top spot in 2008 with a 71.11 average at Oklahoma State, a number that would rank 70th in the standings today. Other notable winners of the Golfstat Cup include Tiger Woods (70.61 average in 1995-96), Luke Donald (70.45 average in 1998-99), and Jordan Spieth (70.92 average in 2012-13). Morikawa’s average is nearly two shots better than all three.

To put it in perspective, the PGA Tour average score this season is 71.46 and the LPGA tour’s average is 72.17. While courses and set up on the pro ranks are vastly different than at collegiate events, it’s no wonder we’ve seen an influx of young players leaving school early to pursue a professional career after proving they can score low – and win – amongst their peers. Sam Burns (LSU), Cameron Champ (Texas A&M), John Oda (UNLV), and Joaquin Niemann are just a few notable names who chose to forego their degree for a shot at a Tour card this past year. Collectively, they’ve already earned over $887,000.

As the regular college season comes to a close in the coming weeks, our attention inevitably will turn towards which standout amateurs could be The Next Big Thing and make their mark in the professional world. For the players slashing NCAA records this season, though, long-term success is secondary, at the moment. What’s primary in their minds? Stillwater, Oklahoma, and a national championship trophy.