A Visit With Dr. Bob Rotella
I had one of the standout days of my 30 year golf industry career last Friday, when I spent two hours with noted sports psychologist, Dr. Bob Rotella. He and I have had several telephone conversations over the past couple of months, and when my travels put me in Richmond, Virginia – only an hour from Dr. Bob's home in Keswick -- I had to jump at the opportunity to spend some time with him in person.
What brought us together was a SCOR Golf customer who's a huge fan and also a client of Dr. Rotella's. Gary thought we should visit and compare notes about what each of us is doing to try to help golfers score better. Dr. Rotella, as you probably know, has worked with dozens of tour professionals, and has authored numerous books on the subject of performance psychology, most notably "Golf Is Not A Game of Perfect". If you haven't read any of his works, I highly recommend it.
We spent two hours talking about the performance challenges all of us golfers face, and diving deeply into the technology of SCOR4161 precision scoring clubs and why we've done what we have. What I want to share with you today are some of the real "pearls of wisdom" that I gleaned from that very enjoyable visit:
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Yes please share more. You've been on a roll lately with your articles. Thanks for all the info.
Wow, secrets of the Tour! Keep it coming Terry!
Terry - your best article this year. Please share more.
Kurt the Knife says:
I read his book. Was kinda helpful.
"If you don't feel like you can knock flags down with those scoring clubs this week, you might as well stay home."
If I were a client, how much would the Doc charge for this jewel? Psychology is not a field of perfect.
So if no one likes the tight lies, why do they dry them out into tarmac and then mow them that close?
Probably because that's the only way they can get 50 or 60 yards of roll on the tee shot.
I plugged a tee shot in the fairway this week, because the course was so wet due to trying to keep bent grass alive in the final hot spell of the year.
I've got a set of Browning 440 irons that handle tight lies just fine!
Matt McGee says:
I'd love to see more of this. Bob Rotella has some valuable knowledge about the mental side of the game.
The PGA, like most professional sports, is controlled by television viewers. Longer drives means more viewers, thus, 1/4" fairways. Spectacular sand shots equate to more viewers, thus, perfect sand. It's hard to fault the PGA for giving its customers what they want. If the lies get so tight that the pros can't come up with amazing approach shots, I'm sure the problem will be remedied quickly, because good approach shots are cool to watch on TV.
Love it. Keep it coming. I've wondered about the sand. I rarely get to play in stuff like that. I've practically ruined my meager bunker game trying to copy all this pro advice about opening up the blade. It doesn't work in some sand.
Dustin Johnson, a bomber if there is one, had these MEASURED approach numbers from the fairway or tee for the 2013 PGA Tour season.
50-75y 12 attempts all year:0
(*This small sample size didnt keep Golf Mag from braggin about his 7th ranking on tour and giving him a partial wedge article. Yes, he can still hit them better than I ever will and I'm sure the article is great. I'm just pissed they think I won't look their stat up)
50-75y 12 attempts, 2.02% of 595 total measured fairway or tee approach attempts
75-100y 33, 5.55%
100-125y 65, 10.92%
125-150y 117, 19.66%
150-175y 139, 22.86%
Obv it depends...but I'll pluck 175y number out of the sky for DJ's 8i and under club. 366/595=61.51%
175-200y 111, 18.66%
200-225y 71, 12.44%
225-250y 33, 5.55%
250-275y 8, 1.34%
275y+ :) 6, 1.01%
Then we have 229/595=38.49% left.
IFFFFF <175y is his 8i, it looks like this bomber hit rougher 50% more 8i and lower MEASURED fairway or tee approaches last year
Brian Gay is at the other end of the Tour distance spectrum. His swing speed matches mine. Sadly my short game doesnt match his...or my long game for that matter... or my bank acct. sigh...
"Comparison is the thief of joy." Teddy Roosevelt I think?
Brian Gay’s MEASURED 2013 PGA Tour fairway and tee approach #’s:
50-75 y 16' 5" 121st 31
75-100 y 18' 10" 140th 105
100-125 y 17' 3" 15th 77
125-150 y 21' 5" 32nd 161
Like Brian, I also swing my driver at 105mph. So, GUESSING FOR FUN again, but since carry my 8i 145y ish at sea level in Miami... im going to give him 150y and down for his 8i or less attempts. OK, yah u got me, it's mostly cuz it's easier on the math to have a nice clean 150y number.
150-175 y 28' 4" 118th 201
175-200 y 36' 2" 166th 202
200-225 y 43' 11" 141st 142
225-250 y 54' 1" 117th 51
250-275 y 64' 10" 80th 12
275 + y 107' 4" 161st 6
!!!!!!! 614/988=62.15% !!!!!!!!!!!
So even with "goin for it" ranking by % of 178/180 vs DJ's 8/180 (i am guessing, again, that that's why he has more 75-100y shots than 100-125y attempts)....
We find the opposite is true for Brian Gay. He is hitting roughly 50% more 7i+ approaches.
I'm not saying Rotella is wrong. I love this Wedge Guy. I promise these r the only 2 plyrs i looked up...so maybe it was sheer luck their numbers were basically opposite. Again, i guessed at what a 8i meant to each player. BUT, count your own approaches. Think about your game vs the pros. Think about your course and tees vs the pros. Just cuz Rotella (fyi, he's abrain guy not math guy. 2nd fyi, i'm not disagreeing with his math. But i would like to c his numbers:0) says they hit 10.5 to 12.5 8i or less a round....
DOESNT MEAN POINT 1A WITH A BULLET (I added the "A" and the "bullet" lika used car salesman, or golf digest, or the way guys who r selling things often do.....like wedges) SHOULD START "It's all about short range performance."
It looks like the majority (62%) of DJ's approaches are from 75y grouping between 125-200y, and only 38% fall into the other 200 measured yards (50-125y + 200-275y)
and Brian hits 71.5% of his from 125-225y
So those approaches r their most common. Now, how important are they to their score?!?!??! I dunno. But i'm gonna find out. I'm tired of announcers and golf magazines having all the fun fake stats and useless tidbits. It shouldn't be this difficult to come up with accurate, usable info.
but like the "tight fairway" (it is fun to watch them hit it far... but if the fairways were slow, like when they r wet, these PGA ninjas DESTROY EVEN THE LONGEST COURSES. It has to play firm and fast or it would b a laugher. Or "bunker" topic (yah, thats why the average ish 92 shooter cant get out of a bunker, the trap is raked in the wrong direction. lol)
these commentators and golf mags are just giving us what we want...entertainment. You're way ahead if u get a lesson here and there and go practice some. Thinking about your game, your course etc etc is a bonus. I (a nobody low handicapper) encourage it. But use your head when u are being bombarded by announcers and salesman too.
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