When I was a youngster, my childhood hero was Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier, as the song went. Read his bio four times, had a coonskin hat, watched Fess Parker and the Disney flick, the works. After many adventures, Davy made his way to the Alamo and fought to his death among all the rest of those brave patriots who paved the way for Texan independence from Mexico. To this day, we still remember the famous battle cry, “Remember the Alamo.” Well, Davy was also famous for a saying he had, namely, “When you know you’re right, go ahead!”
Now what does all this have to do with golf, and specifically Matt Jones, the 40 year-old Australian journeyman who won the Honda Classic this past weekend (congrats on only his second win on the PGA tour after many years) on a very tough layout? Well, first, it took courage to play this course the way Jones did. He wasn’t intimidated by all the tough carries over water and the short-sided chips and pitches on tight lies and the infamous Bear Trap of the last three holes.
But what most impressed me about Matt Jones was that after he and his caddy assessed each shot and decided the club and the strategy, and after a few quick practice strokes, he addressed the ball and almost instantly started his backswing. In Zen-like fashion, there was no thinking from that point and through the execution of the shot. And that included putting as well. Like Davy Crockett of old, When you know you’re right, go ahead.
There’s a confident, talented, no-nonsense pro golfer for you, something, I suspect, out of the Old Tom and Young Tommy Morris mold. And I think all of us can learn from Mr. Jones. For not only will it speed up play, but such an approach takes a number of unnecessary neurons out the equation–neurons that can gum up the smooth actions and transitions that a golf swing requires.
Not much of a Sergio waggle, or Kevin Na’s occasional lapses into procrastination, or even JT’s practice semi-backswing. Once you know where you’re going and what you need to get you there, just swing the bloody club and, come hell or high water, go and find it and hit it again. It truly is a simple, elegant game. No fuss. No bother. No tears. No tangles. And if you f…k up, no bitching, no moaning. Just be thankful you are in a condition to play nine or eighteen, and have the time, money, and the blessings from your spouse to do so.
So when you know you’re right, go ahead. It works with golf, as Matt Jones just showed us…and with life. One other thing: to me, Jones always looks like he’s having fun out there, something I don’t see in the majority of tour pros these days, men or women. That’s something else important to learn from this fine Aussie pro. BTW, Matt met and chatted with the great Greg Norman when he was only 6 years old!
Happy Spring! It’s been raining almost daily here in the Pacific Northwest. Not great for golf, but, after years in bone dry California, my wife and I are enjoying it. Stations at my range have a roof and even a heater for these March days, so I continue to work on my game, trying to wrestle it in shape for the warmer and drier days ahead. And, it’s coming along. The one and a half plane full swing is holding up, along with my special compensation I discussed in my last post.
We’ve been watching some great TV on the evolution of human beings. Someone should do a documentary on the evolution of golf and the swing. Or has it already been done? Anyone know?
And I’d be remiss as a writer to not remind you of my latest book, Into the Woods…and Beyond. In the late 70s I lived alone for several years in a remote backwoods cabin in New Hampshire before moving to California and settling down. I delved deeply into nature during that time–a time that helped heal some significant emotional wounds. You might say, I knew what was right, and went ahead!
If interested, the book is available at Amazon, and a video of me along with photos related to the book is at a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the production, promotion and marketing of this self-published book.
If you do buy the book and enjoy it, I’d appreciate your writing a reader review at Amazon. Thanks.