Originally Posted by Golfingdad
Hey Beach and Pakoh ... love the pics! Keep 'em coming!
How do they play their practice rounds? Did they all just play the course like a normal round, or do they hit multiple balls from the tee, fairway, do they wander around the green chipping from various spots, do they skip around different holes, and any other fun facts you can share.
I've been to a handful of events, but never made it out during practice rounds.
Thanks! Have fun out there today!
They play the hole from various spots and methods... From what I saw they do the following:
(1.) Hit a club off the tee box - if they like the line... They go with it. If they didn't, they may hit another ball (same club, different shot shape) or sometimes they would change the club - like go from Driver to 3W or 3W to Hybrid, etc. When I filmed Charlie - he took three tee shots. As he walked off the tee - his exact words were 'Mo betta, mo betta, mo betta!' These dudes are very relaxed and having fun which was nice to see.
(2.) Some guys are with just their caddy... Some guys are with another touring pro (twosome)... Very few were playing as a threesome or foursome.
(3.) On par 5's they would play the hole two ways... Drive - go for it in two. Drive - lay-up. Kind of play the hole with different approach shots and take some notes on what clubs to use or what marks to hit.
(4.) Some of the guys, like Vjay and Ryo for instance, would take balls and throw them into different collection areas in-front or a green side bunker and hit a few shots. These two seemed to be more deliberate with their short game - hitting a lot of different shots from around the greens.
(5.) Once up on the green - their caddies would have these white laminated circles - cut to the size of a hole - and they would throw them down on previous or past pin placement zones. And the pro would chip and or roll putts to those various pins. Typically there were four pin placement areas that the caddy would throw something down on. Some had the laminated circles, some would just put a golf tee down, others would throw a putter head cover. And then the tour pro would roll putts to those areas.
(6.) There was hardly anyone around... So it was very easy to walk up and watch. And if you wanted to say something to one of the guys after a shot - they would talk to you. Mostly small talk. Like Bads hit an errant tee shot on #18 of the North course. The ball ended up in the rough - but it was on flat ground... Whereas the fairway is sloped from left to right. His caddy told me to throw him the ball, as they were going to play the shot from the fairway (he hit two ball from the tee). And I responded 'You sure, it's a pretty good lie down here... Nice and flat!' with a smile. Bads laughed and said 'He would have to remember that.' I heard Pat Perez and John Daly jawing with a spectator - laughing it up. Perez dropping a few 'F-bombs' in the mix. Then Kyle Stanley and I chatted about his new Nike kicks. He was wearing the new Nike Lunars which looked pretty pimp. And then David Chappral's caddy talked to Pakoh and I about California laws - like no cellphone use while driving, but yet they let motorcyclist weave in and through traffic. So all in all... Lots of small talk and just watching some amazing golf.
(7.) The practice putting green was where most of the pros putt - and everyone is just mingling and shooting the . Lots of business deals being worked on those putting areas. Next time I go, I'm going to go to the putting area and stalk it until I see TW. And then follow him around. I didn't see him. We heard he was around, but could never find him. He was at the other end of the driving range - where normal spectators couldn't gain access. And after talking to folks around the course, Tiger only played four holes. He played 15, 16, 17 and 18 on the South Course. So that kind of shows you how these guys can just go anywhere on the course and do whatever they want. They really don't have any firm tee times, so they pretty much can go out when they want, or where they want. We saw guys skipping holes, or jumping from one area to another. At one time Vijay was playing as a single, then the next time we saw him a few holes later, he had joined up with several others.
(8.) These pros - their swings are freakishly good. When I'm watching them in person, they make the swing look so effortless. Their heads are steady, they look nice and balanced. It is really a work of art how these guys play the game. And watching them play on a course like Torrey Pines... Wow. I'm going to make this an annual thing and go check these guys out when they come through San Diego.