Ramblings on Rory

When I went to bed on Sunday night Rory was in trouble. He was a few holes into the 4th day of the USPGA Championship and was completing his 3rd round (due to a weather delay).

He was in trouble if you were listening to the commentators. Rory missed putts on 9, 10 and 11 (they weren’t long, but certainly not gimmes). He then bogeyed the 13th after another miss.

“He’s not comfortable on the greens”
“He needs to get it together”
“He’s looking tentative”
“He has lost his momentum”

Blah blah blah. It’s all a bunch of crap.

Golf commentators (almost all sports broadcasters are the same) are experts in hindsight. Rarely do they come up with anything insightful in the moment. But they are experts at jumping on and off the bandwagon. If a guy is playing well then you’re most likely going to hear things along this line,

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  • He’s in the zone
  • He’s looking comfortable
  • He has been playing well
  • He has been working hard on his game
  • He has got a new coach and that’s starting to pay off
  • He is using his experience
  • He has got a new shaft in his driver and that is making all the difference (replace shaft with ball, club or sponsor)
  • He likes the course
  • etc

But the second a few bogeys enter the scorecard they can change their view in a heartbeat.

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  • The pressure has got to him
  • He is swinging too quickly – or some other fault (it’s particularly annoying when they use the super slo-mo camera and point the fault in great detail)
  • He choked last year in a similar situation
  • He’s not ready
  • The course doesn’t suit him (funny, it was yesterday)

I could go on and on – just like the drivel that comes from a golf commentators mouth.

When I woke Monday the tide had changed. Rory was on fire and I found it quite comical that the same commentators where now praising his putting performance. These guys can’t lose and want it both ways. It annoys me and one reason I’ll often watch with the sound off.

Let’s get a few things straight.

Golf is tough. Even the best players will hit some bad shots from time to time. They are going to make bogeys. They will miss putts. It happens because this is golf. This doesn’t mean that they’ve lost it or are in trouble.

Rory is unbelievable. I don’t care what anyone says, but he’s automatic as can be and is the most fun to watch (maybe just behind Tiger, but it’s close). He’s free flowing, doesn’t mess around too much and plays aggressively (this is certainly more exciting to watch than a lot of the robots out there).

I dare any of these commentators to actually pick any difference from Rory’s “unbelievable” golf from his average golf. I just don’t see it. When he is on he’s incredible and hard to beat. But even when he is not scoring as well he still approaches golf in the same carefree manner. It’s refreshing to see someone play like he is mucking around with his mates.

His win was summed up perfectly by his last hole, a ripped drive over the fairway traps (about 350 yards if you don’t mind), a nice approach and a perfect putt. The kid can play and even his “bad” golf is a pleasure to watch. I know the commentators have to say something, but it would be nice if they stopped sensationalising every moment. The danger is if we start doing the same with our own game.

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  • Lukey

    Reply Reply August 14, 2012

    I have always maintained that Rory is the perfect example of someone that plays automatic golf and I am glad to tell all that will listen the same.Those who do not think like us (technical types)will normally jump on me by saying we can never hope to be like him but my answer to them is look at what he does how he does it and try to emulate him to the best of your ability.We do not worry about what people think,we swing the way we want,we will score well (remove expectation)and I know we will never be as good as Rory but that is not my point it is to be as good as you can be.
    Cheers Lukey

    • Cameron

      Reply Reply August 14, 2012

      Some of my critics are quick to say,

      “sure Cameron, this Automatic Golf stuff all sounds good. But it’s easy for you to say because you play so well”

      The point is that AG has helped me lower my handicap and have the best golfing years of my life. Before AG I was hopeless. Couldn’t put two good rounds together and was always a few shots from losing the plot. It’s got nothing to do with talent (talent is a myth) or your swing. If you’ve been playing golf for more than a few years and still struggle, learning to play more naturally (automatically, instinctively etc) will help you.

      AG will help you unlock YOUR A-game and play with more freedom and enjoyment. If this doesn’t help your score nothing will. You might even realise that score isn’t always that important.

  • Grayden Provis

    Reply Reply August 14, 2012

    Great article. The last sentence stopped me in my tracks. You’re dead right – thats EXACTLY what we do to ourselves.

    • Cameron

      Reply Reply August 14, 2012

      I added that in at the last minute. When I reread the post I realised that most of us do the same thing with our own golf game. We make up stuff to please our ego. We dramatise the good and the bad – at least I certainly do. Time for a wake up call.

  • Steady

    Reply Reply August 14, 2012

    Hi Cam,
    Theres the ball, there is the target, now get the ball there. Very simple very easy. Rory seems to play the way Tiger use to play.
    Only time will tell how great Rory will be.
    Glory Rory Hallelujah.

  • Grayden Provis

    Reply Reply August 14, 2012

    “We dramatise the good and the bad….”
    Yes. I decided a while back that if I didn’t want bad shots to get me down I had to be prepared to forgo getting too “up” when I hit good ones too – you can’t have it both ways! When you can treat them all as just shots I find the game flows better. The problem I find is the people you’re playing with often want to hype up the good stuff more than you do and think there’s something wrong with you if you don’t! Doesn’t matter. Play your own way. Thats one of the great things about this game: it teaches you to be patient and tolerate difference. At least it should….

  • Cam280

    Reply Reply August 16, 2012

    G’day, have to say don’t like Rory, maybe because i’m jealous?. I am destined for greatness, don’t mind saying that either!. My older brother who was a child prodigy prompted me to get a coach, I was adamant that I could teach myself!. Well i’m right and wrong I can teach my self once iv’e sifted everything the pro’s have to say.
    Thanks to the internet after my brother prompted me I found yours truly!. Mr Strachan, thank you for helping me unlock my game. I’m still playing with the ideas you have given me and at the moment working on my frame of mind and without the highs and lows I believe the game would be boring!.
    But thinking about fundamentals, it would be unwise to play with fear and to readily hold on to bad memories. Unless you see them as warnings and can objectively transcend them to the point that you do not succumb to them in a negative manner. However, we can always take a different approach to a hole, if only to change our past!.
    The 9th on my home course is 250m par 4 tight as a Nuns…, really depends on my position on the day!, If I need to force the issue!, well I have to go for the green, other times I know I should lay up so to take double out of the equation. My feelings are my friend and to know them is to know the future!.

    • Cameron

      Reply Reply August 20, 2012

      Cam280: Self awareness is the light that can guide us. You make a good point about the short par 4 – one day you may feel the need to go for it, other days it’s going to be a 6 iron from the tee. Both can work. I can remember one of the Pennant players from when I first started playing. He was really cocky and would always say stuff like, “I always hit driver on the 1st. You’ll never see me hit an iron”. There was a lot of bravado there and he wasn’t much of a player when you got below the first layer.

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