Now, I know you’re excited about Tiger Woods. But, let’s all calm down, take a deep breath and repeat after me – ‘Tiger is a Player. He holds the title of The Best Player On The Planet. And although I’ll never hit the golf ball like Tiger, I can at least watch how he’s in control of his game and sticks with his PLAN.’
Was Tiger Woods the best ballstriker last week in the tournament at Bay Hill? Was Tiger the best putter in the tournament?
No, surprisingly enough – he wasn’t even close in either category!
Over the 4 Rounds of Golf:
13 Players had more Greens in Regulation than Tiger Woods. In fact, Cliff Kresege hit 7 more Greens than Tiger. Cliff who?
18 Players had fewer Putts per Round than Tiger Woods. In fact, Frank Lickliter had 8 less putts than Tiger.
37 Players hit their average Drive farther than Tiger Woods. In fact, Bubba Watson averaged 22 yards more distance off the tee than Tiger.
46 Players hit more Fairways than Tiger Woods. In fact, Brian Gay hit 10 more Fairways than Tiger.
So what’s the point of these stats? The point is that these Players listed above, along with a bunch of other Players, although not necessarily household names – hit and putted the golf ball better than Tiger. And in fact, Tiger wasn’t even in the Top 13 in any of these categories!
And if I had taken a poll asking who was the best ballstriker on the PGA Tour – would anyone leave Tiger out of their Top 5?
How is it possible that Tiger wins as much as he does, when he’s not the best ballstriker (or according to the stats, not even in the top 13) or in the top 17 best putters? What’s the secret to Tiger Woods? Is there any category that he’s ranked #1?
Yes, there’s one category that he’s always #1 – Scoring Average and Winning. Or as GMS prefers to say — he’s #1 in Cashing Large Checks! How is it possible that Tiger is the best at winning Tournaments, but not close to the best in any of the ballstriking or putting categories? Simply put – there’s nobody on this Planet that’s better at sticking with his PLAN.
How good are you with sticking to your PLAN? Or do you not even have a PLAN?
What’s the first aspect in having a PLAN? Knowing your Strengths and Weaknesses. What’s the second aspect of your PLAN? Playing to your Strengths on the golf course and staying away from your Weaknesses. And nobody does this as well as Tiger Woods!
Now I’ve received emails in the past that have said – “Marc, it doesn’t matter how I PLAN if I can’t hit the ball where I want to.” Well, that’s the point of your PLAN. Do you think Tiger intentionally tried to miss 27 Greens at Bay Hill?
Of course not, but because he knows what his Strengths and Weaknesses are, he can PLAN for his misses. He can PLAN that if he misses the green, he won’t be in a spot near the green that he’d have to play a shot that’s a Weakness. He makes a PLAN to only hit shots that he knows won’t get him in trouble if he hits that shot bad.
In essence – he makes a PLAN so that he knows that either he’s going to hit a good shot or if he hits a bad shot, it won’t end up in a place that he’ll have to play a shot he can’t execute well. Now obviously, every once in a while, we’re all going to hit a horrible shot that no PLAN can help – but this doesn’t happen as much to Golfers as they might think it does.
Unless of course – they continually attempt to hit a golf club that they’re not skilled enough to hit.
Does Tiger hit a 3-wood on every Par 5 when the only club that could get him to the green would be a 3-wood? No. Why? Because the set-up of the hole might mean that if he doesn’t hit his 3-wood well – he possibly could end up playing a Weakness the next shot. So, many times he’ll play a Strength for his second shot (possibly a 5-iron) that’ll put him position to play another Strength (possibly a wedge). And probably make birdie!
Do You Have Any Weaknesses?
Do you have a club in your bag that you only hit well 50% of the time – yet you still play it on the golf course? Do you think Tiger would ever hit a shot that he hits well only 50% of the time? If you only hit a shot well 50% of the time – I’d consider that a Weakness. And a Weakness shouldn’t be played on the golf course unless you enjoy hitting bad golf shots and making double and triple Bogey’s.
I don’t know a Golfer that scores above 80 that hits their 3-wood off the ground well more than 50% of the time. Yet, I know thousands of Golfers that score above 80 that hit it on every Par 5 and a high percentage of Par 4’s because as they say – “I’m trying to get close the green.” Yet, 50% of the time you hit it bad. And 99% of those bad shots don’t get close to the green!
In fact many of those shots end up closer to the trees and/or water than they do the green!
The reason you should have a PLAN is not for your good shots –- the reason for your PLAN is so that your bad shots won’t hurt you as much. What are your Strengths? What are your Weaknesses? Have you ever written them down and then made sure that the next round you play that you didn’t hit one shot that was a Weakness?
Sadly, that’s not the case for most Golfers. Sadly, most Golfers don’t even consider their Weaknesses. And sadly, most Golfers end up with scores that reflect that.
The Monkey continually plays their Weaknesses as they wish that magically, one day they’ll find the secret of hitting their 3 wood
The Player avoids their Weaknesses regardless of what the other Golfers in their group are wishing for
Go ahead, Be a Player!
Marc Solomon – Your Instructor For Life