Monday , October 15, 2018  
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  The 2011 US Open is Here!!  

For Golf fans around the world this is a great week in golf. It is an exciting week of speculation as to what will transpire in the year’s second major. There is no Tiger in the hunt however that will not stop it from being an exciting week of golf. I have my favorites as I’m sure all of you do. By now you know my opinion on predictions and how the world rankings often indicate very little as to the outcome of most majors. That is just golf…..and maybe other sports. What were the odds that the Miami Heat would lose three straight to hand the NBA Championship to the Dallas Mavericks? Forget about the predictions and let’s watch golf.

As you watch The Open this week you can pick up some strategies that may be of help to your game. Consider the following:

1.       On the Greens: The speed of US Open greens can scare anybody into the putting yips. Because of slope and speed all players must be cautious. Although that might be the case committing to the putt is key to making a tricky 4 ft US Open putt. Keep in mind the 2 to 5 foot putts need to be hit with confidence. One of the problems most golfers have when faced with a fast 4 foot putt is decelerating the putter through the hitting area. Observe the players doing well this week and how confidently they hit their putts. For you golfers at home commit to the putt and strike the putt firm with proper acceleration, be confident.   

2.       Plodding Along: The US Open is not won with one shot, although it might be the last shot that clinches the tournament the golfer will be taking 288 strokes or so for the week. There are many chances to blow the tournament if they do not exercise control.  The US Open winner is usually a player that exemplifies a strategic plodding approach with their course management. Yes, Woods and Palmer have experienced glorious victories with bold shots but for the most part a patient approach with what the course gives you is the secret to winning an open. Do you force your shots when you play? Do you plod along or do you try to force your game to score better. Watch the leaders and how their success is a direct result of exercising patience. US Open Champion, Curtis Strange, back to back winner plodded his way to two victories. Learn the patience of playing golf. US Open week is a game of patience in a marathon of golf.

3.       Take your Medicine: Players take their medicine and continue to grind. Although some have been known to hit great shots out of the 4” US Open rough odds are against their success. Playing the percentages, surrender to the rough, wedging out to the fairway for position is usually the best move. Do you wedge out or do you find yourself trying for miracles shots? Observe how the smart players avoid taking a big number by just getting the ball back into play.

The US Open can be a very humbling week for the tour players. The PGA Tour lights up tough golf courses every week with incredible scores. These guys are great players. A US Open week is different. It brings everybody into check and par this week will be a great score. Maybe that is what the viewer likes about US Open week. For one week out of the year these awesome golfers actually look human for a change. Watching them struggle with bogies or doubles helps the average player feel a little better ….at least for a moment.

Enjoy what you see this week it will be a great week of golf.

Gregg Downey

Teaching Professional


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