Augusta is a pretty cool place, and I thought you’d like to see some of Kevin Streelman’s swings on the range and on the course, as well as a few of his practice round partners, Gary Woodland, John Senden, Steve Stricker, Robert Streb and James Hahn. By Wednesday we had dialed in what Kevin wanted to think about this week (brace the right foot in at address, then open the face on the backswing and cover with the right side on the forward swing), and it worked out great Wednesday afternoon as Kevin won the famous Par-3 Contest, shooting 5 under for 9 holes. His play continued to be very solid today as he started the tournament with a 2 under par 70.
What is interesting to think about is that all the work that goes into improving the swing enables the player to reduce his conscious swing thoughts to a few keys that become more pattern oriented and thus less verbal. This is not possible if there are too many variables or complications going on, so as the swing improves it becomes more likely that the thought process over the ball is simplified and can function better under pressure. Sean Foley made an interesting comment today in an interview when asked if along with the technique work he does with his players did he have to play psychologist all the time as well. He responded that “the best psychologist is a swing that hits the ball where you want it to go”. I agree totally. Golf is not a simple game until you make it that way, and making it that way takes a lot of time and effort. In other words, it can be a complicated process to uncomplicate the swing, but the end goal is always to clear the mind as much as possible. That is what technique work is all about. When the technique works it is not that hard to be confident.