InstructionJune 17, 2011

Saturday Morning Tip: Hidden advice from the Golf Boys

OK, everyone thinks the recent video produced by tour players Ben Crane, Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson and Hunter Mahan is strictly a publicity stunt that happens to raise some money for charity, but from an instruction standpoint there are at least three lessons we can learn. If you haven't seen it, take a look at the Golf Boys and their first music video. Then consider this when you play this weekend:

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(1) Don't take yourself--or your game--too seriously.__ Lighten up and have some fun, and I'll bet you play better. Dr. Bob Rotella, the renowned sport psychologist, once told me: "Sometimes you have to play as if you don't care. Forget the out-of-bounds left and right. Just get up, take dead aim down the middle of the fairway, and let it go. You'll be surprised how straight you can hit it when you focus on your target and swing freely."

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(2) Practice hitting balls barefoot,__ as Bubba Watson does in the video. Sam Snead used to do this to make sure he was swinging in balance. When I was a kid growing up in north Florida, I played entire rounds barefooted. (I wouldn't recommend that today with all the chemicals put on golf courses.) But hitting a few shots on the range with your shoes off is a great way to ensure that you're not overswinging and that your upper body is staying in sync with your lower body.

(3) Hit it in the hole. That's what Hunter Mahan screams in the video. And he's right. That's the object of the game, isn't it? So if you miss a green, don't panic. Figure out a way to get the ball up and down. Visualize and execute a solid pitch or chip, and then grind on the putt. That's one of the main reasons Jack Nicklaus won so many majors. Even when he wasn't playing his best, he figured out a way to get the ball in the hole. Same with Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson, Gary Player, Lee Trevino, Seve Ballesteros and, of course, Tiger Woods.

Good luck with your game this weekend, and remember to follow me on Twitter @RogerSchiffman.

*Roger Schiffman

Managing Editor

Golf Digest

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