The Takeaways from Tiger and Yani

For those who love the game, this was a very exciting weekend to watch golf on TV. If you have to set up DVR to record the PGA on Golf Channel, then switch to NBC, set it again for the LPGA back on the golf channel and somehow slip the 10 inning Red Sox game in there, then it was even more exciting for you! However, in the end, we have many lessons to learn after watching the monster drives, amazing chip-ins and long winding putts for birdie.

First, let’s talk about Tiger. It’s been a long time since he hoisted a trophy in the air proclaiming victory. He’s been inching toward this day for a while. Many thought his 62 at the Honda was going to catapult him to the trophy at The Doral, but it did not. What finally did it was patience, practice and persistence. He embarked on a mission to improve his game many, many months ago. I think it’s been almost a year and a half since the start of the process. He changed his swing and his swing coach and he set out on a mission to make it work. He stayed committed. Regardless of what others said or thought, he believed it was what he needed to do to get better, to win again. So he stayed committed. He did not waver even when it went bad and he hooked balls wildly left, blocked balls crazy right or took divots deeper than the Mariana Trench.  He didn’t try to “band-aid” it to fix it. He didn’t listen to a multitude of people suggesting other ways to do it, he just stayed committed to the change and practiced, practiced, practiced.

My Thoughts  ~  On Tiger, the takeaway here is all about the three P’s. Patience, Practice and Persistence.  If you want to improve and you’re working with a coach/teacher to help you improve, then stay committed. Be Patient..nothing happens overnight. And when your golf buddies want to help and say things like, “Hey, I read in such and such that to fix your slice, you should try the double overlap grip.” Or “I saw on the such and such the other night that you should open your stance and close your face and swing at half speed to fix a hook.” Do yourself a huge favor and make your best effort not to listen. Although they have the best of intentions, they might not know what works best for you. And finally, have your coach help you with a solid practice plan so that your time on the range is effective, has a purpose and can transfer successfully to the course.

Now Let’s talk about Yani.
The LPGA hasn’t seen a talent like this an a very long time.  According to the LPGA, “Tseng becomes the second youngest LPGA player to reach 15 career victories at the age of 23 years, 2 months, 2 days. The only player to reach the mark faster than Tseng is Nancy Lopez, who was 22 years, 5 months and 18 days when she won her 15th career victory at the 1979 Lady Keystone Open on June 24, 1979.” She is only 2 points shy of reaching the “point requirement” for the LPGA Hall of Fame and once she accumulates those, she just needs a few more years to reach the 10 year mark, a must to get in. Tseng has already broken Woods’ record of being the youngest golfer, male or female to win five career majors. Yani Tseng, is tracking to be the greatest player ever in the history of the game!

Yani has the three P’s. Patience, Practice and Persistence. In fact, here’s a quote from an interview she did following her victory this weekend.  Keep in mind, she has won 3 out of the last 5 starts! During the interview, they talked about her record, being the second youngest player to reach 15 wins and what it felt like winning today. Here is what she said, ” That sounds pretty good. I was really happy making all the records. I mean, today I’ve been really patient. As patient as I could. I didn’t hit many good shots and I didn’t have many birdie chances, but I hit in a chip‑in at the right time. I made some putts at the right time on the back nine, and that gave me a lot of confidence and put me in a good position today.” she goes on to say, ” I’m just really happy for what I’ve done for the day and just being patient and playing smart today. I’m having so much fun today.” Yani has the potential to break a lot of records and make golf history and not because she has the best golf swing out there. We all know, it’s not about the perfect swing. As an example, some might argue that Suzann Pettersen, has one of the best golf swings on the LPGA tour today. The best swing, the perfect swing doesn’t necessarily mean lower scores and more wins. In fact, Suzann went winless her first three years on tour and this, her ninth year on tour, has a total of only 8 wins. Yani however, won her first year on tour, her second year, three times on her third year, seven on her fourth year and three so far on her fifth year. She doesn’t have THE perfect swing, but she knows how to practice, she’s persistent and she has patience. She also has a fantastic attitude. You see it when she plays and when she is interviewed. She is happy playing golf!

My Thoughts ~ On Yani, the takeaway here is also Patience, Practice and Persistence. She has practiced enough, she has the patience and she realizes that it will never be perfect.  She believes that even after hitting a bad shot, she can still recover and play well. She said it herself, she was patient. She also said in her interview that she didn’t hit many good shots BUT she had a chip-in and made some putts and THOSE were the things that gave her confidence. Her focus was on the things she did well. She also said she was having fun! These are the keys to success right here. Focus on the things you do well, the things that give that boost in confidence and then talk about it! Talk about the great chip or the amazing putt rather than the shot you hit in the water hazard. Talk about your success rather than failure and you’ll have more of it. And finally, have fun when you play! Remember it’s only a game and the word “play” is in the collection of words you use when telling your friends what you’re planning to do on Saturday. You’re playing golf…and PLAY equals FUN.  Just ask my 6-year-old nephew!

CM

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About Cathy

I am an LPGA Class A teaching professional with more than 20 years of experience. I've recently been selected as a Golf Channel Academy Coach. I have been listed as one of the best teachers in the country by Golf for Women Magazine, best teacher in state by Golf Digest and been nominated to the prestigious Top 100 Teacher list by Golf Digest. I offer whole game improvement plans and strategies that will help you achieve your goals. Whether you have a single digit handicap or you are just a beginner, I will help guide you to your success by creating a learning environment that is completely unique to you! I am one of only 30 people in the country certified by the Golf Coaches Association. I use V1, FlightScope and Boditrak technology.
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