Apologies to Anthony Kim and other American golfers under 35(other than Tiger), but they usually don’t make the list of the top 5 or even 10 guys picked to win a given Major.
It’s Open week and I can’t think of an American under 35 that is being talked about very much to win at Beth Page and I have a theory why and it’s very personal.
When I was growing up playing, we didn’t know anything about plane, square to square putting stokes, or other mechanical pursuits that are common today. We had contests on who could hit the biggest slices and who could get it up and down out of the bunker after we stepped on it. You know what? We could all play the game.
Nobody knows how to play the game anymore. Everyone knows how to bomb it dead straight 300 yards. Everyone knows how to hit an iron dead at an accessible pin and everyone knows how to make a perfect stroke and knock in 10 footers with no break…all day long. That’s why when the Tour plays a new fangled golf course, half the field shoots 20 under par for 4 days.
Younger players know how to execute swings, chipping motions and putting strokes, but they don’t know how to play shots as well the the older guys. It’s not their fault, it’s how they were taught.
JB Holmes, Bubba Watson, Dustin Johnson and Boo Weekly don’t look mechanical, but it’s a mindset that is lacking in today’s young players. Actually, Bubba does know how to play shots and that’s why he is as good as he is and has contended in majors with such a wild game and temper. Anthony Kim might, and I say might change the dynamic. The reason why this is so clear to me is I used to be a player of golf who hit the ball far. I then tried to become a golfer who tried to execute proper motions and I became a duck and a chop.
Tiger practices shots on the range, it is part of his routine. High, medium and low fades, followed by high, medium and low draws. Foreign players practice shots because golf on foreign tours require more imagination. Most American players lack the imagination that is required to win at the majors. I have lost that imagination myself and I am trying to get it back. I hope all of the young players I mentioned get back to playing the game versus executing it.
Don’t misunderstand, I am not saying that the young players can’t hit these shots. I am saying it’s not a priority to play shots, it’s a priority to perfect swing, chipping and putting mechanics.
Good luck guys, prove me wrong and let’s see some real golf and not this manufactured perfection we have been brainwashed into thinking is the new wave.