As you may have heard, it's all about impact! And it really is. The most important part of the golf swing is the point at which the golf club communicates to the golf ball - impact. The ball spends 1/2000 of a second on the face and it's during this sliver of time that the outcome of every shot is determined.
Kyle Stanley did something very few golfers ever get to do - he turned the tables. And the amazing thing is he did it all in the span of eight days. After losing at Torrey Pines after having a seven shot lead, he righted all his wrongs on Sunday, by negating Spencer Levin's eight shot lead to win his first PGA Tour event.
Kyle is the touring professional for my home course, Berkeley Hall, where he is also a resident. He takes full advantage of our amazing practice facility and plays with the members whenever he is in town. We are all so proud of "our man"!
This is what was in the bag for the victory week:
- Driver: Titleist 910D3 8.5 degree with Mitsubishi Diamana Kai'li 70X
- 3-wood: Titleist 910Fd 13.5 degree with Mitsubishi Fubuki 83X
- Irons: Titleist 503i 2-iron; MB712 4-P with Project X 6.5
- Wedges: Vokey Design 52.08, 56.14, SM4 60.10 with TT Dynamic Gold S-400
- Putter: Scotty Cameron Timeless (GSS)
- Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
An interesting note is that during the off-season Kyle switched from a 9.5 degree D3 to a 7.5 degree model. He could not get comfortable with the 7.5 and after testing on our TrackMan we found that he was a lot more consistent, and felt better, with an 8.5 degree model. Good to see he stuck with the 8.5.
Another interesting note - and this will tell you a little about his work ethic - his three wedges are each stamped with a word - DO WORK SON. One word for each wedge. He really does do work....
Kyle tweeted this after his victory yesterday:
"To do list on my week off: 1. Relax. 2. Work on my lag putting from 15 feet!!"
And a very classy tweet from playing partner and runner-up Ben Crane:
"As a fan of sports you have to love what @kylestanleygolf did this week. CONGRATS, Kyle. You earned this. The whole golf world is proud of u"
My sentiments exactly!
One of the greatest choking hazards a golfer faces is a large lead with 18 or fewer holes to play. And here's why; any golfer within 8 strokes of you has a legitimate shot at catching you! When a golfer get's out in front they often start to play a different style of golf and we have all seen the results of this change - Norman in '96 Masters (I could put multiple events for Norman here), Van de Velde in the '99 Open, Palmer with a 7 shot lead and 9 holes to go in the US Open at Olympic......
(Did you know - Jean Van de Velde's ball crossed the burn 8 times on the 72nd hole of the '99 British Open!)
With a big lead the mind and approach tends to change and when that happens you are in big trouble. Think of it this way - if you were competing in a one round event against all the players within 8 strokes of you, you could play relatively well, yet still lose to one or more of the players in that limited field by more than 8 strokes! And that's without any change in approach!
If you ever find yourself in a situation where you have a large lead (and I hope you do!) forget protecting and go out and play golf the way you played to get yourself in that position! Play the event as if it were a one round shootout and all the golfers are tied with you starting the round. A golf tournament is a marathon; you can only play protective golf (and get away with it!) with three or fewer holes to go.
A FURTHER UPDATE ON THE "RELEASE THE PUTTER" POST:
I thought the following two photographs might clarify the difference between a proper release of the putter and a non-release.
I hope the above pictures help to clarify any confusion that there might have been. The furthest point from the axis of a pendulum travels the furthest.
Let the putter head swing!
U.S. Open Notes:
Tiger and Hank snuck out to Bethpage Black yesterday following El Tigre's amazing finish at the Memorial. Just listening to the commentary gives you an idea of what it must be like to play in front of NY sports fans!
Here is a great photo blog by Barton Silverman on Bethpage Black. Gotta love the local flavor!
This is an interesting article by John Branch about what it takes to play the Black.
Jim McCabe writes a nice piece on what it's like to try to make it to the U.S. Open
How about this: Steve Marino (26), Charley Hoffman (20), Charles Howell III (28) and Kevin Na (13) all failed to qualify for the U.S. Open. They are all in the top 30 on the money list and will be watching on TV just like you and me.....Crazy! So much for a world class field.
Well done to former student Kyle Stanley on qualifying for the U.S. Open for the second year in a row!
If you are ever in the Hilton Head area and are looking to go and catch some fish please look up my friend Capt. Christiaan Pollitzer on the Bulldog. I fished with him yesterday and we caught 6 cobia and a red snapper amongst various other denizons of the deep! I actually invited friends to a cobia dinner before we even left the dock - the man is a fishing legend!