Mickelson setting course management back for the average golfer


Phil Mickelson’s miracle shot on 13 on Sunday will go down as one of the great shots of Masters history.  It will also be a big setback for the average golfer.

There is no doubt that Phil Mickelson has an overload of talent.  He has shown that over years pulling off incredible shots.  But he has taken risks that have cost him tournaments, most notably the US Open at Winged Foot.

The problem isn’t that Phil tries those shots and sometimes pulls them off.  The problem is that he influences golfers and they begin to think they can do the same.  We’d all love to be able to strike the ball like Phil but even most golfers in the field at Augusta on Sunday would have laid up.  With Phil’s talent he would have scored a birdie 80% of the time laying up, and he in fact scored a birdie.

Was it a heroic shot?  Absolutely.  Was it smart?  Probably not.  The par 5 13th had been giving up lots of birdies.  Phil’s mistake is that he brought bogey into play.  Luckily for him it didn’t turn out that way, but pine straw is not easy to hit out off.  He could easily have ended up in the creek, pitching onto the green for an un-guaranteed par.  The conservative route wouldn’t have brought bogey into play unless something disastrous had happened.

If we take a look at the risk vs the reward, it wasn’t a smart play.

Now to the average golfer.  The average already has a hard enough time making smart decisions on the course.  Most golfers I play with are constantly making decisions that bring double bogey or worse routinely into play.  They could not only score much better, but take many headaches out of their rounds if they knew how to make better decisions, but they don’t know.  When faced with a choice like Phil’s, many golfers would try the hero shot because if they can just pull it off, they’ll get a nice ego boost.  More than likely though, they’ll end up with a big number and wonder why the can’t break 100, 90 or 80.  This is where Game Sense comes in.  It teaches you how to make the best decisions on the course.   Get that understanding and you can expertly avoid trouble and give yourself stress free pars.

Review: The Floppy – Indoor Practice Golf Ball

Master the short game and you can score well even when your long game is off.

The Floppy is a soft indoor practice golf ball.  It has  a woven cover, a liner and a proprietary filling.

http://www.thefloppy.com/images/smaller/whatsinside.jpg

The Floppy Close Up
The Floppy Close Up

The videos on the homepage do a good job of showing what the floppy does and how it reacts when it bounces of windows.  When I first saw the floppy on-line I thought it was going to be a bit like a hacky sack in the shape of a golf ball.  But when you squeeze it, it instantly bounces back into shape.   The quality of the woven cover is very good.  I would imagine that a single ball could easily take thousands of hits.  The sticker on the ball won’t last that long though.  It pretty quickly got worn down so that the text was difficult to read.    That does not affect it’s performance.

How it behaves

It is best to have it land on something as close to turf as possible.  I found that on carpet it does react very much like a golf ball.  It checks up pretty well, and can even spin back a little bit.  You can hit it high or low and it will behave predictably.

For us North Easterners, and anyone else stuck in the cold, it does provide a nice way to practice your short game.    Depending on how hard you hit them I think they could still knock some things over as they do have a little bit of weight to them.  However they do absorb impacts well and lightly bounce of harder objects like walls or plate glass.  I think these would be a blast to use in an indoor AstroTurf field.

Overall I think The Floppy is a very cool indoor practice ball.  When I combine it with my golf mat (Country Club Elite) and use the stance mat as a grassy target it really does allow me to practice short chips and pitches very well.   I was easily able to practice chip shots inside up to 25 ft, limited by my living space and not the ball it self.  I could hit high little floaters or low running chips well with it.

The Floppy certainly takes a bit of the sting out of being in a cold part of the country with a few months until the golf season officially starts here.  In the meantime I can become a deadly chipper and pitcher and hopefully a short game wizard.  My preference with the floppy is to land it on the “short grass” of the stance mat, and see how it rolls out or responds rather than bouncing it off the walls as it is show in the videos on the home page for the product.

On a side note, I am a fan of Phil Mickelson’s “Secrets of the Short Game”, and find that the Floppy with the mats allows me to groove a consistent hinge and hold.

Although it can be used for the long game, I do not have a net and I would not take full swings with the floppy, at least not until I had a good practice net in place.  But for short game practice, I have not hit another practice golf ball that gives me the kind of feedback that the floppy does.

The Floppy Home Page