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Golf: Jutanugarn Just Kept On Smiling

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Stan Sutherland
Stan Sutherland

“So when all hell started breaking loose on the back nine Sunday, Jutanugarn kept smiling,” writes Randall Mell.

A different kind of trigger
Randall writes, “Jutanugarn started smiling as part of a new pre-shot routine after she collapsed in April at the ANA Inspiration, the season opening major. The smile was a “trigger” Vision 54s Pia Nilsson and Lynn Marriott gave Jutanugarn to remind her to slow down, calm down and focus when the pressure mounted in big events,” and like they say the rest is now part of golf history. Ariya became the first man or woman from Thailand to win a major championship.

A smile or lack of same
Lydia Ko with her legendary smile has won admiration throughout the golf world and now it appears the idea of smiling while playing golf is beginning to catch on; well at least in women’s golf.
Having spent a considerable amount of time watching the Women’s British Open it struck me that several Asian golfers smiled more frequently than their western world fellow competitors and perhaps it’s not just the Asian work ethic that has contributed to their ever-increasing level of success. Maybe it’s because they’ve learned to smile a wee bit more when the going gets tough.
As a Scotsman who takes pride in the performances of Catriona Matthew it came as a shock to see how little she smiled. And as for Stacy Lewis, hopefully between now and her impending marriage date she’ll have found her smile.

Try one of these triggers

For some us it may be difficult to produce an authentic smile as a trigger but nevertheless most golfing gurus say we have to have a trigger in our process.

So here’s David MacKenzie’s observations.
Sam Snead cocked his head to the left to start his swing, which was later copied by Jack Nicklaus
Tom Kite and Nick Faldo, bend their knees slightly before taking the club back
Gary Player kicks in his right knee
Mark Calcavecchia shuffles his feet
Greg Norman sets the toe at the ball and slides the club forward so the sweet spot’s behind the ball.
Harvey Penick told us in his “Little Red Book” that the back-swing should be started with a gentle forward press of the hands.

Link to Randall Mell and David MacKenzie

Quote of the Day
“Each time you smile you throw a little feel-good party in your brain. The act of smiling activates neural messaging that benefits your health and happiness.” – Sarah Stevenson as quoted in Psychology Today


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