What makes the pros so good? - Page 3
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IMO - it's having enough talent (hand-eye, flexibility, imagination, athleticism) to hit the shots and the mental capacity to not choke under pressure.
Some things, like flexibility, you need to be born with. Everybody laughs at Jimenez' warm-up routine . .but that guy is more flexible at almost 50 than I was in my 20's, lol. I think flexibility and hand-eye coordination are 2 big reasons why everybody can't just practice for thousands of hours and become a pro.
I suspect good genes have a lot to do with it. Looking at the pga site, a lot of the profiles mention that the players were excellent high school athletes in multiple sports.
The ten-thousand hour rule is largely nonsense. If you have the genetic potential, lots of practice can make you superior. If you don't have the genetic potential, lots of practice will only help you reach your peak. This appears to be true with everything in life that has a talent component.
I don't think there is a single sport where being able to produce a replica of your previous attempt does not make you great.
Within reason, I can play every shot a pro can play, but I may only do it 5 out of 100 attempts, a pro does it 95 out of 100 attempts.
This is what makes a pro
The other thing this shows is how many balls they hit, they hit balls just about every day of the week.
I think this is what sets apart good players from Really good players!
I said the other thing this shows, someone else already pointed out the fact of how consistent they are! Chill out keyboard cowboy!
The advantage my clubs have over what those pictures show is that the resale value of my clubs is a lot higher because the sweet spot has never been hit.
So how do the pros get to where they hit that sweet spot just about every time? I think of things like:
A tour player has good to great balance thru the swing. They don't fall off their swing, nor do they fall towards the ball during the swing.
Timing and Tempo
A tour player has a great natural rhythm in their golf swing. This tempo and timing has been ingrained thru years of practice.
Lag does a lot of good things. One, it delofts the club face which turns a 9 iron into a 7 iron and a 6 iron into a 4 iron, this providing for greater distance. Lag also gives a wider range where the club bottoms out, thus helping to ensure better contact. Finally, it helps maintain swing speed.
A person or two mentioned the idea that an average scratch player hits the ball from tee to green about as well as a tour player. I would disagree with that. Not only is the tour player more consistent, the tour player has more shots. I have played with a lot of great players (US Open qualifiers, leading amateurs) and they are really, really good players, but they all had weaknesses in their game. These guys mainly hit a straight ball. Ask them to hit a high draw or low fade and their ability to pull that specific shot off when it counts is limited. One guy played at Southern Hills in a huge event. I asked him what about the course gave him so much trouble and he said that it wasn't good enough for him to just hit the fairway, he had to hit one side of the fairway or the other or he couldn't get the ball on the green because he'd have to really shape a shot (emphasis on the amount of curve to the shot), which he could not do. That is the difference tee to green between a high end am or mini tour player and a touring pro. The pro will also be a better putter and have a better short game.
One other thought. Most of us play most of our golf at the same course, or a handful of courses in our area. We get to really know the greens we are playing on, and it makes us think we have a better short game and are a better putter than perhaps we are. Ever notice what happens when we play somewhere we are unfamiliar with? We don't tend to play as well. The tour guys, their games "travel" well.
I knew a chap in college. He was short, fat, had stubby fingers, wore coke-bottle lenses, walked like a duck, and seemed generally ugly and ill-coordinated. He and i played handball one day and i could not believe my eyes. Like Clark Kent came out of the phone booth. Something about his eye/hand/foot meant he was in the right place at the right time doing the right thing. He said that he had played twice before. So he did have some kind of natural gifts that i was surely lacking. And don't forget that the golf guys we see on TV are self-selected over years. I have met and seen many HS boys on the practice green with the dad parading around giving orders/advice and learned that the boy was destined for greatness. But he could not win the city championship. So he self-selected OUT. I also believe as far as Tiger is concerned that his mother and her Asian philosophies gave TW a mental advantage; like acceptance, fortitude, patience, pride, etc and these qualities help TW compete weekly at a high level. You gotta love to compete and in the end love to lose, as that is the only way forward.
Really, there is only really one word that makes the pros "so good." Ballstriking.
We can talk about short game all we want, but when you really look at it, getting up and down from where they leave the ball when they miss the green is in a WAY EASIER spot to get up and down from than where the everyday Joe has to get up and down from.
Making "putts" from where the pros hit their iron shots to are MUCH EASIER putts than where the average Joe has to make a putt from when he hits the green. Think of it this way, when average Joe has an iron in his hand, he swings and prays to the almighty to just hit the green. Usually the result is a long putt in a poor position on the green. When a pro stands over the same shot, he hits it to a specific spot on the green where the slope may be less OR in a spot when he he/she has an uphill putt underneath the hole, and so on. So the "putt" itself is more of a result of the "ballstrike."
In an experiment, if all of us had a pro hit our long shots and all we were responsible for was putts and short game, I would be willing to bet our short game and putting execution would improve dramatically solely based on where the pros "shot" left us.
Ballstriking is King and it's their superior ballstriking that separates them from the rest of us.