Did Phil really do that?

Feb 10th, 2011No Comments

So, I’m watching the Farmers Insurance golf tournament on television and I started laughing as I watched Phil Mickelson’s caddy attend the flagstick on the 18th hole at Torrey Pines. If you saw it you know that Phil was over 70 yards away from the hole. He knew he had to make the wedge shot in order to tie Bubba Watson to go into a playoff. From the standpoint of a mental game coach I loved it. Here is someone who is so confident that his ball is going to have a chance to go in that he would have his caddy attend the flagstick to make sure the ball didn’t bounce away. It turns out Phil hit a great shot and was very close to flying the ball into the hole.

Phil took a very long time to prepare to hit that shot. He walked up all the way to the green to verify the slopes of the green and hole location. His pre-shot routine was longer than normal, but it didn’t have adverse effect on his shot. Now, I’m not asking for golfers to take longer in their pre-shot routine, what I have always advocated is for a golfer to be very clear on the shot they are hitting before they hit it. This means understanding the lie, environment, yardage, club choice, type of shot, target, and feel for the shot. On this particular Phil wasn’t leaving anything to chance. He was completing committed to his shot and it showed. Most golfers rarely look at all factors and commit to the best shot for them at that moment. Next time ask your playing partners if they will attend the flag when you are 75 yards out and see their reaction.

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