As we look forward to this week’ s U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, as the American President Donald Trump would say ” it’s gonna be great”.
I love watching the best players in the world tee it up for the biggest prizes. In this environment the players begin to show some of their frailties which makes us Amateurs feel a whole lot better about ours.
There are lots of professionals playing poorly every week on the main tours. It’s just that we don’t get to see them as the TV coverage only shows the leaders.
If they are in front or near the front, they can often hang in there to seal the deal.
Major Championships are different. Life changing events.
The craving for success and the fear of failure ramps up a notch or two.
Pebble Beach will play short at 7,075 yards for the U.S. Open. Since 2010, only one U.S. Open venue has been shorter (Merion, 2013).
A good iron player can score well here.
Pebble Beach still provides a stiff challenge, though. The average winning score in U.S. Opens at Pebble Beach is 282.6 strokes (the course has played as a par-71 in the past two U.S. Opens). The legendary sportswriter Jim Murray called the course “7,000 yards of malice.”
Strategy will be key as will managing your ball flight in the wind.
Then you have the greens, the smallest on the PGA Tour. Last year the field hit only 52% of greens in regulation. Once aboard these saucers, you have the slopes and the speed to deal with which makes the greens at Pebble some of the trickiest around.
So who is your money on? Tiger Woods, Brooks Koepka perhaps or Roaring Rory Mac? Maybe its finally Phil’s time to get the only Major eluding him from a career Major Grand Slam.
If you have ever gone into a competition at your home club, or a played in a match for your club, and really wanted to do well, you will know how too much craving can ruin your game, as can the fear of failure. Finding the right balance between not giving too much of a f**k , while not being sloppy is the key for all golfers. The tendency is for you to overthink your golf swing. This has the effect of making you more tense.
One simple idea to help with this is to pay attention to the tension in your swing and stroke. Without trying to change it, if you stay aware of the tension and observe it non judgmentally you may well find that you begin to let go more and swing with more freedom.
You could score each swing for tension on a scale of 1-10
Give it a go for three rounds and let me know how you get on.
The player that swings with the most freedom on the back nine on Sunday at Pebble Beach will be the winner of The U.S. Open.
For more information like this and for coaching sessions, get in touch for a complimentary, no obligation chat.
I hope you enjoy the golf this week.