Teed Off (29-04-2012)
with Robert Bicknell
OK, maybe it doesn't deserve to be in full caps with an exclamation point, but when Butch Harmon comes out and says roughly the same thing that I said about Tiger's performance in the Masters, it's nice. Of course, the fact that I said it FIRST is nice too… (Teed Off 15 April 2012).
In a nutshell, Harmon said Tiger looked like he was "playing golf-swing" and not playing "golf". He also recommended Tiger hit the practice tee with no instructor, coach or guru around to mess him up and just hit shots.
Sound familiar? It's what I said a few weeks ago. Tiger needs to stop over analysing everything and just swing the damn club again. Paralysis by analysis knows no limits as to who it can affect.
Actually, Harmon gave the same advice to Greg Norman after he fled from David Ledbetter and couldn't hit the ball worth a damn anymore. Norman will not name names as he's too much of a gentleman, but everyone knows anyway.
His advice to Norman was to grab a 2-iron and hit as hard as he could and as many times as he could.
Norman was never a "technical" player like Nick Faldo. Going to Ledbetter was the absolute worst decision he could have made. Sure, some players benefit from Ledbetter's swing methodology, but not everyone. Norman wasn't one of them. Tiger wouldn't benefit either.
This is why I simply cannot understand why Tiger is cluttering his head with swing thoughts, when all he has to do is take dead aim and let it fly. His subconscious will do the rest.
We all have times when self-doubt rears its ugly head and no one is an exception to this, not me, not you, not the President of the United States, not Michael Jordon and, especially, not Tiger Woods.
The difference is most of the really successful people never let anyone see them sweat. They overcome self-doubt and hit the throttles. Full speed ahead, and all that.
When Tiger lost everything, his golf game deserted him as well. That's par for the course…pardon the well timed pun.
Tiger, being Tiger, refused to believe the problem was him, so it must be the "swing" and began to tinker again. Once you delude yourself into believing that, it becomes almost impossible to free yourself from "paralysis by analysis".
Last week, I mentioned a round I played at the Norfolk with Lars, Jeff and Andrew. At one point, Lars commented that I was "playing like a man possessed".
The truth of the matter wasn't so much the physical fitness regimen I've been putting myself through, although it certainly helped, but more because I wasn't afraid to swing the club anymore.
Yes, you read that right. A golf pro who was afraid to "swing the club".
I was also a victim of paralysis by analysis because of an injury I had in 1989 when I broke my left wrist. Coming back after three months of lay-off, I decided to rebuild my swing and eliminate some of the things that I thought held me back.
What brought excellence to my game when I was young weren't technical thoughts, but rather the knowledge that I could make the ball do anything I wanted without thinking about it. It was natural. My weakness was always my putting.
Go figure, my chipping is great, but my putting stinks and it drives me nuts. Ever since my old "Slotline" putter broke in the late 80's, I haven't putted worth a damn.
When rebuilding my swing to be more "technically sound," I lost what made it "my" swing. What made it unique to me, and what made it work. It wasn't until I started playing with Grahame Harris over at Royale City here in Da Lat that I found myself swinging freely again.
Playing with old friends and no pressure allows you to just enjoy the game again and, eventually, everything fell back into place. Now I think only about the shape of the shot I want to hit and don't waste a second thought on the swing itself. I'll let my subconscious deal with that.
To succeed, Tiger needs to swing like Tiger. — VNS