Frank’s attitude is terrible and that’s why he isn’t playing better. EDITED at bottom

At least that is what everyone is and has been telling him and they are wrong…kind of, well mostly, but not completely. I fought this battle with friends and family for over 15 years, but trying to explain to people that have no frame of reference is impossible.

Frank is lucky to be working with me because I am one of the few that understand that when your swing is off and feels nasty, it makes you angry enough to eat nails…but a well meaning member of your posse wants to look at it backwards…”your bad attitude is wrecking your swing and game.”

On days where we get things lined up, his attitude is awesome, even if he plays bad. On days when the feel goes awry, it doesn’t matter if it’s a new course record…expletives fly.

I fail to understand why this concept is so complicated.

HOOOOOOWEVER!!!!!!

This bad attitude is self perpetuating and unproductive…and that’s what the people who have an emotional attachment to the situation see…and their well meaning comments just inflame the situation more.

Let me digress. I am a fair to above average no limit hold’em player. When nothing funny is happening with the cards, I don’t lose too often. What do I mean by “funny?” When only one card in the deck can beat you (one outer) on the river, it only has a 5% chance of happening and it’s happening 25% of the time…along with all of the other %’s like frequency of premium hands, frequency of losing 80-20 hands and 50-50 hands are all going against you…the instance of losing greatly skews your normal win percentage.

Now does my attitude stinking cause my losses, or does my attitude stink because I am experiencing so many confounding losses that often defy logic and mathematics.

The answer is both. One started the slide and the other is perpetuating the slide.

Now back to Frank. The problems with his swing created the bad attitude, now the bad attitude is stunting his improvement, which he freely admits is grand.

So he is correct and I understand that the swing problems originated the attitude problems, but all anyone sees is the bad tude making the problem worse. So everyone is right and wrong and that is why the problem isn’t getting rectified.

Deep ain’t I?

Now on to what happened Friday. Frank made 9 bogies, probably more than he ever has had in his pro career. Only one was the result of a bad swing and/or a poorly struck shot. Most landed a yard or two long or short.

Now we come to the Catch-22 that is Frank’s golf game and my poker game. In Frank’s mind, he is hitting almost every shot solid and he is getting hosed…and there is a lot of truth to that. Just like in my poker game, when I get my money all in when I am way ahead and only one or two cards in the deck can save the other player…when that card hits, I feel like I got hosed.

In both situations, when it happens once, it’s part of the game, when it happens multiple times and beyond the number of times that logic would suggest is possible…it then becomes a self fulfilling prophecy and you start to expect to get screwed…and you’ll never guess what happens then.

BOHICA!!!!!! (Bend Over Here IT Comes Again)

When Tiger was dominating, he proved something beyond a shadow of a doubt. Attitude and will affects your luck. How many of his mishit shots got lucky to get the perfect bounce and find the only opening in the trees?

Let’s put aside all of my deep thinking double talk, because EVERY one of you can make your golf game better. The difference between putts falling and balls missing yardages by feet and inches is a tangible affect. Being confident and committing to the shot. Visually the swings look the same, but the balls know the difference.

The problem is it’s easy to feel sorry for yourself when you are in a 0-20 hitting slump and you keep hitting line drives at people and you hope someone is smart enough to hide the sharp objects. Problem is Frank is sponsored by a knife company and there are more sharp objects around than you can shake a broken club at.

All you can do is keep hitting the ball hard and wait until you get jammed and hit a blooper over the second baseman’s head.

We are rooting for you Frank, the pain is almost over.

EDIT…I can tell a few of you misread today’s post. I agree the bad tude about getting hosed is bad and is not helpful…and everyone understands getting hosed.

THE THING PEOPLE ARE NOT UNDERSTANDING…is the tude is not coming from that. They think it is coming from that and judging, but it is coming from frustration that the swing doesn’t feel right and not being able to commit and THAT is causing the slight mishit of shots.

As soon as his swing feels better and natural, the tude will go away…and we both know it’s not helpful, but when you start from a bad place (bad swing feel), the results make it difficult to over come.

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13 Comments

  1. woody

    It’s a cliché, but it’s not okay to feel screwed when you’re taking the next shot. Tiger would whine, fuss, throw clubs…but you never saw it affect his next shot.

    After the round, you can see the big picture, that you got screwed. But, probabilities are against the scenario that he will continue to do the right thing and still get screwed.

    Luck owes him. Putts will fall in the back door, he’ll get a great bounce off a tree.

    Reply
      • woody

        It was a late-breaking edit…but, he still needs a RESET button, no matter what the cause of frustration. The last shot, hole, or tournament needs to get blocked out. All that counts is the next shot–maybe easier said than done.

        I’d like to see both him and you succeed. There’s enough swingcrack out there to sink the “Titanic.” Good luck.

        One thing, if he reads Manzella, get him to stop NOW.

        Reply
  2. bobs34

    Forgive me for getting on my high horse here but there is no justification for getting a tude because of bad luck, getting hosed, whatever you want to call it. It happens to everyone and those who deal wth it best, play the best.

    Getting up even higher, what makes you think people have no frame of reference? Everyone gets hosed in just about every aspect of life… Those who deal with it best have better lives, those who don’t, sit around blame everything but themselves, eat nails, and are generally miserable….

    Last thing, it’s not all you can do to keep hitting the ball and wait…. Quit being a spoiled brat and change your damn attitude….

    I only say this because I AM ROOTING FOR BOTH YOU AND FRANK…

    Reply
      • bobs34

        Yup, I missed that point in the original post. Ironically, I understand exactly what you mean by not being able to ‘commit’. I used to stand over a shot and couldn’t feel it in my head before I hit it so I kinda hoped it’d do close to what I wanted it to do. There is no way to commit to a shot you can’t see or feel beforehand. That is frustrating and I guess the only way through it is to practise more and play through it until he can fully commit to each shot in tournament play. In the mean time, acecpt it, don’t make any excuses, and work harder to get through it…

        FWIW, knowing I’m preaching to the choir to some but in my preshot routine, I don’t ty to see shots anymore, I try to feel them in my head, especially the feel & sound of the impact I want. If I can feel & hear it beforehand, I can see it and my chances of actually doing it are waaaayyyy better.

        Reply
  3. Calvin

    At Frank’s level the winners are usually players who fully embrace the challenge of difficult lies and relish the opportunity to test their skills. A guy with slumped shoulders muttering to himself has no chance.

    I knew a driving range pro who played the tour for a year; he said that the only difference between him and Arnie was that Arnie’s ball always bounced back to the fairway and his bounded into the bush. I don’t think so.

    Reply
      • Calvin

        Well I’m certainly familiar with the feeling of a swing that feels like I’m trying to hit the ball with a boa constrictor. I usually find it to be related to tension and/or balance.

        Reply
  4. mukster

    I remember watching Frank coming up tops in Q school a in 2007 and really rooting for the guy to do well that season. To be able to grind it out for 6 days and win takes a lot. Hopefully he can still somehow channel some of that positive energy and make it all come together.

    Reply
  5. ringerdaman

    Sometimes you gotta let off steam in order to move on to the next shot.

    The key is always, how much do you let your emotions affect you, and HOW do you let them affect you.

    I know that every time I miss a crucial putt on the previous hole, my next tee shot is going to be barbarically long and almost always down the center cut. I let my anger affect me in a POSITIVE way because I actually let go of my frustration on the ball on the following shot. This doesn’t always work though as putting and chipping require touch and not strength.

    Reply
  6. woody

    Phil…opening round of Kiawah PGA…if anyone should have a swing attitude, he’d be the one.

    He’s not missing by feet…more like furlongs.

    Reply
  7. meateater

    Bad breaks even out over time, provided you still have a Tour card. People have trouble understanding probabilities. the fact that the odds are way in your favor doesn’t mean you can’t draw the short straw. Ot happens. It doesn;t mean the universe hates you, it’s just math.

    As for frank, did he think he was just getting lucky bounces back when he was winning or was that skill? Just saying…Maybe the problem is not bad breaks. Maybe it is he is taking on too much risk for his current skill level. Maybe he should be shooting for the middle of greens instead of pin hunting. His goal should be cashing checks, not perfection.

    Reply

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