Some time before his inspiring performance at the Ryder Cup Ian Poulter took some time off, maybe that's the secret of his success, to spend some time with Geoff Swain. Geoff's a trick shot artist whose hand eye coordination Ian did remarkably well to emulate.
Here's Poults trying to see if he can make it as a trick artist.
On the more serious matter of people whose hand eye and temperament leave them at crucial times here's some thoughts on Greg Norman's epic collapse at the 1996 Masters.
James Auchenbach is reporting on sports psychologist Rick Jensen's address to 2012 World Golf Fitness Summit.
My immediate thought was that Greg didn't choke he just reverted to his form before the Masters. Something we've all experienced, we get off to a good start and for Greg it managed to last for three rounds.
Greg had looked to Butch Harmon for a quick fix for his physical flaws and was advised to focus on his short game.
This from James, "According to Jensen, Norman was ranked 149th in greens in regulation heading into the Masters. Hardly cause for confidence or inspiration.
Jensen recalled Norman’s explanation: “It was a mental flaw caused by a physical flaw. Going into the Masters, I was playing terribly. I had lost control of my ball.”
Reconstructing the final nine, Norman explained to Jensen, “I said to myself, ‘Forget Butch; I’m going to fix this thing.’ I started tinkering with my swing on the back nine. That was the mental mistake I made. The physical mistake, of course, was that I wasn’t prepared going in.”
The stats don't lie. "149th in greens in regulations" suggest you'll have to be very lucky to hang in for 72 holes.
Rick also discussed another major choking incident and suggests course management and accepting understanding you current form poor form can help.
"Another example: Phil Mickelson on the 72nd hole of the 2006 U.S. Open. A par wins the championship for Mickelson, while a bogey puts him in a playoff. He makes a double bogey, hitting a hospitality tent with a tee shot that went wide left.
“He was 160th in driving accuracy coming into that tournament,” Jensen said. “This wasn’t a choke. It was a weak link under pressure.”
Jensen’s analysis of what Mickelson should have done: “Make a course-management decision. Ask himself if maybe he shouldn’t hit driver. Think about using a 3-wood or a long iron off the tee.”
Hat Tip to Geoff Shackelford and to James Auchenbach
Thought for the Day
"I started tinkering with my swing on the back nine. That was the mental mistake I made. The physical mistake, of course, was that I wasn’t prepared going in.” - Greg Norman
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