I don’t mean because I predicted these struggles were coming and it’s not a case of Schadenfreude. I mean vindication for me and my own game. I have been listening to close friends, random golfers I played with and now blog readers chastise me time and time again.

“It’s not about your swing, it’s about your head.”

“It’s all about rhythm and tempo.”

“Just swing and stop worrying about mechanics.”

You cannot imagine the frustration I suffered, especially when it came from close friends who pounded me relentlessly about it being a mental thing. “You’re just a head case.”

Often times I would get so frustrated with these discussions, I wanted to go off on some of these close friends as being ignorant of the situation. I never did because they cared and meant well.

In hindsight and even at the time, I was correct. They were ignorant of the situation and it is what allowed me to see Tiger’s struggles coming months and even years before hand, when all others scoffed. None of them have suffered the emotional and yes, even physical pain of being stuck under the plane and generating inhuman club head speed. You cannot recover from this situation on a consistent basis and be a good golfer. The greatest player of all time staving it off for so long, notwithstanding.

You cannot imagine how exasperating it is to be swinging a club at 130+ mph, and all of your body parts are crashing into each other. I kept trying to tell everyone that this emotional and physical trauma caused me to lose my focus and temper…not my temper and lack of focus affecting my golf swing.

I am just starting to work it out. On the range Friday I took some video and there is hope that today might be my first stuck free round in a tournament. Yesterday’s practice round was very promising.

Tiger, give me a call, it’s not just your putting like all the talking heads are saying. It’s like the man in the hole who yells for help and a guy jumps in there with him. It’s seems crazy, but guy #2 knows the way out because he has been in that hole before.

In case you are wondering, I have no illusions or delusions that he will ever contact me even though I know for sure I can help him. I am just giddy that golf is becoming fun again. It is not fun when almost every swing causes you anxiety and physical pain. It’s more fun to play golf when you don’t stand over every single shot trying to figure out how to avoid hitting it 20* offline to the right and often hitting it 20* offline to the left trying to compensate…including on pitches and chips.

When swing competence (swing perfection is nowhere near necessary) and fun are on the rise, low scores are soon to follow. As soon as the way I was swinging yesterday becomes automatic, I will be as good as I have ever been…or dare I say…better.

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4 Comments

  1. Husker

    Monte, for certain I am nowhere close to being in your league in any facet of the game. That said, I agree completely about what you wrote. Listen to your inner self, and disregard advice from others who don’t really have a clue about YOUR game.

    Reply
  2. Walter

    Monty,

    Tigers’ problem is simple, he is too muscular, he is not working with the same swing machine he did seven years ago. He must learn to adapt to all this power, swing easier with all his strength I bet he could generate great clubhead speed.
    Wally

    Reply
  3. S.

    “my first stuck free round”

    I’m beginning to believe that people get stuck because they turn too far and too fast, past impact, all the way to the follow-through, instead of letting the momentum of the swing take them there.

    I’d break the swing down into two parts: 1) swinging the arms (with left shoulder a checkpoint, moving under the chin, for right-handers) 2) turning everything below the arms.

    In this scheme of things, the “lower body” isn’t below the waist, it’s everything from the ground up to maybe the sternum, which as you say turns in sync.

    I get a kick out of Moe Norman. He sounds so loony sometimes, but then he comes out with a blockbuster truth. He says the purpose of his lower body is: Stabilize, Energize, Contain, Release.

    If you look at screen captures of anyone who’s good…Hogan, Sadlowski, Mahan…what you see is what Moe says–the lower body is NOT spinning. By turning just to impact “position,” a bit open to the target, I find that I am turning slower with more control and balance, and letting my arms and club whip past my “lower body” and take me to the finish. My “lower body” gets maximum acceleration at the beginning of the turn, when it’s wound-up, and it’s actually slowing down through impact. When they say “swing easy & hit hard,” I think what they really mean is “turn easy & hit hard.”

    I should have picked this up a lot sooner, when I watched Mike Maves’ video about not getting to the left side too soon. This is probably what Moe means when he says “Contain”:

    http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=sevam1#p/u/20/nH0XBJutrcU

    Reply

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