Watching Morning Drive this morning, I was in total agreement with the comments that Brandel Chamblee (@BrandelChamblee) made about Rickie Fowler.
“You understand the best way to play golf, this is my opinion, is to go out there and try to hit shots…You know,it’s the big lie to me, that you can go out there and swing perfectly. And I understand why guys do it. I mean literally they’re trying to play this game in the most organized fashion, there’s so much money out there, and if you can stay on tour a long time, you can get ridiculously rich. So what are you gonna do? You’re gonna work out, you’re gonna get a sports psychologist And you’re going to take all these lessons ’cause you want everything to be perfect. And Rickie’s like ‘No, I’m gonna go out and I’m gonna hit golf shots. I’m gonna hit it high, I’m gonna hit it low, I’m gonna draw it, fade it.’ And I know it’s because of the way he was taught the game. His teacher was very much into hitting golf shots. And that’s why he plays fast. Because he’s not out there thinking about a pre-shot routine, and he’s not out there thinking about swing mechanics. He’s out there thinking about golf shots.”
There’s a ton of wisdom in what Brandel said this morning. This is why Rickie is the future of golf. And I think he is going to stun us with what he is going to accomplish in his career.
I want to contrast this style of play with Tiger Woods. And my intention is not to bash Tiger but to look at differences.
Tiger Woods when he was dominant could hit every shot in the book and then some. He created that famous stinger and it appears he doesn’t even have that shot any more. Tiger said he is thinking about his swing and swing mechanics now before every shot and it looks that way. When he gets off track, he goes into repair mode, and it’s mechanics, mechanics, mechanics. The artfulness seems to be have left him, at least for now.
On the other hand, Rickie Fowler (and several other players, most notably Bubba Watson), look like golf artists. They see shots, and they hit shots. They use the golf course as their canvas and they create masterpieces of golf. Plus they’re really fun to watch.
So where does this leave us (the amateur golfer)? Well, for one, I know when I’m playing my best it’s when I’m seeing and hitting shots and when I’m not thinking about mechanics. There are times when golf seems so much easier. Conversely, when I’m playing poorly, it’s all about mechanics. The swing ends up feeling like it’s separate from me. And it feels forced.
If you’ve read this blog for a while you know that I’ve moved away from mechanics to a feel based approach, where I not only see the shots I’m trying to create, but try to feel what it’ll feel like to hit them. And every shot is unique and feels differently. This makes golf more fun, and the end result for me has been better scores, more fun, and not having to practice as much.
Other posts about Rickie Fowler: