The Loop

7 weird things players are doing to prepare for the U.S. Open

June 10, 2014

PINEHURST, N.C. -- Listen, golfers are crazy. We're always searching for that secret that will help us break 90, 80, 70, etc. And professional golfers are no exception. Here are seven weird things players were doing on the practice areas on Tuesday morning:


Billy Hurley III used the Orange Whip Swing Trainer AND placed a ball between his forearms. The whip is designed to hone tempo and increase flexibility and strength, and the ball-between-the-forearms trick helps a golfer achieve a more compact swing.


Jonas Blixt also relied on the ball-between-the-forearms drill, and he used two alignment rods. He placed one rod on the ground, above and parallel to his target line, and placed the other rod in the ground, about five yards ahead of him (I call this a "target stick"). His goal was to start every shot just left of the target stick.


BUT, alignment rods can be used in very different way. As you see here, you can also place it between your ball and your feet, so that it extends behind your impact zone and parallel to your target line.


OR, you can rely on a really, really, really, REALLY long alignment line, like Jim Furyk does.


Webb Simpson stuck two tees in the putting green, one on either side of his putter head (to create a gate, if you will) and stood on a towel while rolling in six-footers. Some people might assume that he placed the towel there to protect the green, but he didn't stand in that one spot for very long. Perhaps it was to help him with his balance? Regardless, it was weird.


Lastly, MIGUEL! You can't talk about weird practice routines without talking about Miguel Angel Jimenez. From the top-left to bottom-right, here's the sequence of movements he does every time he gets ready to pound balls. Amazing.

Granted, many of these practice routines are standard for players on tour. But if you're watching them for the first time, they will strike you as pretty weird.