Coaches Hot Seat Quote of the Day – January 31, 2011 – Muhammad Ali
“The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses – behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights. I hated every minute of training, but I said, “Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.” Muhammad Ali
The Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines – Tiger Woods’ New Golf Swing
It has been a great few days in La Jolla, California and at the Torrey Pines Golf Course watching the PGA Tour professionals play the great game of golf and every time we spend time in the former Golden State we cannot help but wonder about the massive amount of economic activity that would be going on in Southern California if the state and local municipalities in California weren’t run by some of the stupidest people on the face of planet Earth!
The weather has been dead, solid perfect the last few days in the San Diego area and with the weather, topography, ocean, lakes, mountains and all the other great things that California has going for it the place should be booming but the former Golden State (now Broken State) is Hundreds of Billions of dollars in debt, is going to run $25 billion dollar annual deficits for as far as the eye can see and dozens of our friends and their businesses have joined many Coaches Hot Seat members in recent years in a massive exodus from the state.
Getting back to the golf (and as Frank Sinatra would have said in this spot “Their ain’t no other place to go!”) it has been interesting watching Tiger Woods this week and his new golf swing that he has been working on with his teacher Sean Foley.
Tiger’s swing is now much more on plane than it has been in recent years and he is getting back to a place with his swing where he will be able to control his golf ball a lot better under the gun but Tiger is still fighting some of his old moves and from out vantage point he is not focusing enough on playing the game of golf when he is on the course.
There are several members of Coaches Hot Seat that have played the game of golf for most of their lives going back to a very young age and we get a big of kick out of just going out and hitting a couple of baskets of balls as hard practicing golfers like Tiger does, but we always make sure that we leave the practicing of golf on the driving range, chipping area and putting green and make sure that when we are on the course we are PLAYING the Game of Golf. There is a big difference, even when working on a new golf swing, from working on swing ideas and techniques on the golf course (especially in tournament play) and PLAYING the Game of Golf and from what we have seen of Tiger Woods this week at Torrey Pines he needs to forget all but one or at the most two swing keys when he gets on the golf course and leave the practicing of his new swing on the practice area.
Especially on Friday and Saturday’s rounds of golf this week Tiger has hit the ball all over the place and his swing has been more tight and out of rhythm and it just can’t be very much fun spending a lot of time thinking about how to swing a golf club when one should be PLAYING the Game of Golf when participating in a professional tournament. The Game of Golf is supposed to be enjoyed and to be fun and thinking about swing moves while playing on a golf course is just not the right thing to be doing for Tiger Woods or anyone else for that matter.
It will be interesting to see what Tiger Woods does on Sunday as he is now 8 shots back from the leaders and one of the leaders is Phil Michelson who may be the only player in the field that has played Torrey Pines more than Tiger! What Tiger Woods needs to do is to go out on Sunday and PLAY GOLF and forget about all of the drills, moves and swing thoughts (except maybe for one at a time) and just see what happens because right now Tiger’s ball is all over the golf course and that kind of golf has got to be miserable. The fun in golf is hitting golf shots and right now it looks like Tiger Woods has brought the driving range to the golf course and if we had to play that way we would have given up the game long ago!
One thing we have noticed with Tiger’s new swing is that his arms are much more connected during his swing and that he is getting much more of a turn with his shoulders on his backswing. One of the drills that Sean Foley utilizes when teaching the golf swing is for the player to put a golf glove or towel under his left armpit and not let the glove or towel fall out during the swing by keeping the left arm hard against the body. Give that drill a try some time and no doubt you will find that keeping that glove or towel under the armpit is not an easy thing to do and if there is one thing that we would disagree with on Foley when it comes to the golf swing is that once a very good golfer gets beyond his 8-iron or so to longer clubs in the bag retaining that very tight connection of the arms to the body can hamper the skills of very good golfers.
When Tiger Woods’ golf swing was at its very best, during his years as an amateur at Stanford and in the years he worked with Butch Harmon, Tiger swung on a very similar swing plane to what he is now swinging on and his swing was of a similar length, but Tiger also allowed his arms to flow freely during the swing which allowed him to create the rhythm that is easy to see in all very good golfers. Right now Tiger Woods does not yet have back his old rhythm yet and maybe it might be a good idea for Tiger to just go ahead and let his arms swing while keeping his swing on the same plane while focusing on HITTING golf shots instead of practicing swing techniques while on the golf course.
There’s the Coaches Hot Seat two-cents on Tiger Woods golf swing which many of us first saw when Tiger was still a junior golfer and coming up through the amateur ranks in California and then when we got to see Tiger play and practice a lot of golf at Stanford. Tiger’s getting back to where he needs to be but loosen it up a bit Tiger and let those arms swing again.
Just like this from the practice round of the 1997 Masters:
Watch the Great Ben Hogan and his golf swing with a driver which shows him really swinging the arms during his swing and allowing his left arm to separate from this body.
Now that is a great golf swing!
Don’t Practice the Game of Golf Tiger on the Course…PLAY IT!
As for Phil Michelson: Just keep it going Phil….Keep it going.
Or as former Oakland Raider head coach, the Great John Madden would say to any golfer:
“Don’t worry about the horse being blind, just load the wagon.”
Most of us here at Coaches Hot Seat have either already read this book or have been reading it over the past week or so and at dinner the last few days we have had great fun reading passages from the book out loud which always gets lots of laughs and we say things like: “That a boy Snake, or Gene Upshaw or Jack Tatum…..!”
Badasses is a great football book about some great football teams: The Oakland Raiders of the 1970s and if you love football you will love this book.
Here are some reviews of Badasses:
“Richmond’s book is a treasure trove of uproarious anecdotes skillfully woven into a seasonal chronicle spiced with sharp player profiles…This rollicking read reminds us that football is a game that’s meant to be played hard—and to be fun.” (Library Journal )
“Once upon a time, there lived a band of larger-than-life misfits who lorded over the NFL. Dirtbags! Castoffs! Has-beens! Deviants! You name ‘em, John Madden’s Raiders had ‘em. And, thanks to Richmond’s tireless reporting and vibrant prose, so does Badasses.” (Jeff Pearlman, New York Times bestselling author of Boys Will Be Boys: The Glory Days and Party Nights of the Dallas Cowboys Dynasty )
“No NFL team ever strutted any better on the dark side than the Oakland Raiders of the 1970s. In Badasses, Peter Richmond chronicles the treacheries, debauchery, and yes, the winning, with appropriate literary gusto. Lock the doors, close the windows, send the kids tobed before reading.” (Leigh Montville, author of Ted Williams: The Biography of an American Hero )
“I always thought the Raiders were bad, but I never realized how bad — and how good – until I read Peter Richmond’s smart, funny, rowdy tale.”
Ahhhh, the Oakland Raiders football teams of the 1970s…..now those were some FOOTBALL TEAMS! Yes, much different than the great San Francisco 49ers teams under Bill Walsh but still great winners under John Madden and what a treasure it is that John Madden came along at the just the right time under Al Davis and put some of the best teams in NFL history on the field that included some of the most colorful characters in the history of the game.
Run, don’t walk to your local bookstore or quickly order Badasses from Amazon.com because if you love football you will love this book!
Coaches Hot Seat Quote of the Day – January 30, 2011 – George Bernard Shaw
“People are always blaming circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, make them.” George Bernard Shaw, Mrs. Warren’s Profession, 1893
Coaches Hot Seat Quote of the Day – January 28, 2011 – Ronald Reagan
“They tell us we must learn to live with less, and teach our children that their lives will be less full and prosperous than ours have been; that the America of the coming years will be a place where — because of our past excesses — it will be impossible to dream and make those dreams come true. I don’t believe that. And, I don’t believe you do either. That is why I am seeking the presidency. I cannot and will not stand by and see this great country destroy itself. Our leaders attempt to blame their failures on circumstances beyond their control, on false estimates by unknown, unidentifiable experts who rewrite modern history in an attempt to convince us our high standard of living, the result of thrift and hard work, is somehow selfish extravagance which we must renounce as we join in sharing scarcity. I don’t agree that our nation must resign itself to inevitable decline, yielding its proud position to other hands. I am totally unwilling to see this country fail in its obligation to itself and to the other free peoples of the world.” Ronald Reagan’s Official Announcement of being a candidate for U.S. President, November 13, 1979