WOW. Spring is ushered in by the Masters and what’s extremely special about this year’s tournament is a local is the favorite to win one of the top five sporting events in the world. Dustin Johnson, Dutch Fork High graduate, fresh off his World Match Play win over John Raum, is the favorite this week. I watched him hit range balls early Monday morning and his form looked fabulous. The longest driver on tour is also the best wedge player. That’s an optimal scoring combination.
Dustin was using a TRACKMAN during his practice session and although I can’t confirm what he was focusing on during this session, I can confirm that games, exercises, and “combines” are the main features utilized by the greatest players, experts, and teachers.
“Numbers and stats are good, but the tour players utilize the ‘combine’, features,” says Jake Therm, one of the world’s leading young teacher of tour players and pros.
Therm was in Columbia touring the brand new Swing Balance Sport and Fitness complex, that is nearing completion.
James Haun is the student Therm is tutoring on his Masters trip and to pass along one of his comments all of us can learn from he said this: “If a player has eyes on truly improving, stop hitting repetitive 6 irons now, just stop, work on driver, wedge’s, and hitting shots. Then learn to hit the shots on demand. And that’s what golf training and the pursuit of mastery is all about and even the difference between the great players and the greatest.
The one thing that I can tell you from firsthand experience of watching Johnson closely in youth golf, college golf, and pro golf, is the bigger the situation, the more interested he gets. While major championship circumstances cause stress, pressure, and tension, for most, It stimulates the opposite for Johnson. Pressure for Johnson ignites interest, and fun. The bigger the situation the more fun he has. Dustin Johnson is the consummate gamer. It’s hard for most, to wrap their head around the simple fact that he plays golf like a game, and he was a great gamer as a kid too.
Buddy Bostian hosted the 2017 Ponderosa Pro Lady and the tournament was quite a success. The Ponderosa CC Ladies Golf Association know how to host a golf event. They just make it fun.
I was fortunate and received an invitation, and participated with Decky, Lee Coulter, and Elaine Mozingo. It’s kind of fun being the weakest member of a Pro Lady team and quite honestly hasn’t happened in my golf career. But I had a blast watching these players navigate the golf course. The format was the “Two best Net balls” and our team scored 16 under and placed.
The most important news though was the golf community, fellowship, and food was spectacular as always when the Ponderosa Ladies host an event.
Locals Sara Coffman, Sarah Watson, and May Anne Trent all were on teams that contended and placed while Mike Hamilton, a pro from Fox Run in Greenville, was low pro with 71, one under par.
Palmer Mason, a Dutch Fork High School freshman golf team member had a two round total of 140, -4 under par to place second in the Parks Hutto Bengal Invitational last weekend hosted by Columbia CC. Dillon Hite of Lexington High School scored 143,-1 for 5th place.
My tip this week is the RBC Heritage at Harbor Town at Hilton Head Hosts South Carolina’s only PGA Tour event next week so put the event on your calendar.
Next week, the instructional series on hitting for greater distance will continue, so between now and then, watch the pros effortless motion with a nice balanced follow-through on TV and ponder how such grace can produce such power.
George Bryan Golf Academy