Ok, first off, let’s give Jimmy Walker of San Antonio, (Boerne) Texas a big shout out for breaking thru and winning his first major championship at the 2016 PGA Championship at the Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, New Jersey. Jimmy held off Jason Day, the number 1 ranked player in the world, to close out his incredible championship run. Jason Day did make it interesting for Jimmy Walker, as Day eagled the par 5 18th hole trying to extend the championship into a 3-hole playoff. However, Jimmy’s nerves were in control all week as he pared in with a 5 to win by 1 stroke over Jason Day.
As a former local club pro in Texas, I had the privilege to ply a round with Jimmy Walker once at Northcliffe Country Club in San Antonio. I messed around on some of the very mini tours in South Texas for awhile and I considered myself a decent golfer. After that round with Jimmy Walker, I knew I wasn’t at the level I thought I was as he “played a game of which I am not familiar!” This round occurred just prior to Jimmy achieving his full time status on the PGA tour, but it was clearly evident that great things awaited such a talented golfer. So, congratulations Jimmy on your life changing win at the PGA Championship.
Now, let’s get into some of the differences between the pros and the amateurs when it comes to golf. Amateurs spend most of their time on the range pounding away with their driver while pros spend a majority of their time working on their short games. Pros know a majority of their shots come from 100 yards and within. As their livelihood depends on their short game, it makes sense on why they place such an importance of having a reliable and proficient short game.
One major aspect of the short game is on the green. We all know the old saying, “You drive for show, but you putt for dough!” Pros spent countless hours practicing putting. They also put on the best greens in the world each week and they are usually all at a similar speed. Pros have the best technology and the top instructors to help them. Amateurs don’t have the same luxuries and the speed and quality of the greens can change drastically every round they play. We all know how important putting is and how it can make or break a round. But, many amateurs do not know the most important aspect about putting is “speed control.”
In the next article, I will discuss a speed control system that has helped every one of my students I have previously worked with throughout the years. I will explain how and why it was developed after an incredible day of ball striking, yet a horribly frustrating day of putting!
Until next time…