Bruno's Blog


A Journey To Bandon Dunes PDF Print E-mail
Written by BRUNO   

 

 

 

 

 

Just like every other golfer, I've heard and read so much about Bandon Dunes.

I thought it was a no brainer to finally put the south coast of Oregon atop my

LinksNation to do list.

 

 

Could such a place possibly live up to all the hype?Very few places do, and very few

have ever received the accolades that Bandon has.The good news is Bandon Resort is

open to the public, so issues over access don't exist, but there are a few elements

about Bandon that make it more challenging to access than most.First off getting to

Bandon is not an easy chore, but has recently been made easier by flights in and out

of North Bend Airport (which is only 30 miles away).Of course flights to North Bend

are less frequent and more pricey than those going to Portland, Seattle and Eugene . . .

but it is only 30 minutes away.

 

 

Since I had determined that I would also go up and review Chambers Bay just

outside of Tacoma, Washington -I traveled the lengthiest route or so it seemed.

When you're traveling from Palm Beach to Atlanta, and Atlanta to Seattle, then driving

from Seattle to South Oregon . . . you probably need to be in therapy (I think many

people who know me might agree with that statement).Arriving in Seattle at midnight

on a Sunday, there was over 400 miles between me and Bandon Resort.By the time I

retreived my sticks and luggage and caught the shuttle to the rental car agency, it was

1am west coast time . . . and the peanuts and Coca Cola that Delta distributed on the

flight just wasn't enough fuel to make the night go much further.I opted for the Denny's

within sight, and after a mediocre french toast slam, I was gonna try to knock off some

miles and get to Portland.I almost made it to Portland when my eyes said "No Mas" . . .

so I pulled into a motel 6 at 3:30 a.m west coast time and crashed for 2 1/2 hours, knowing

that atleast 5 hours of driving remained.

 

A few weeks before the journey it was recommended to me to check out this place

just outside of Portland called McMenamins Pub Course.Usually when somebody takes

the time to go out of their way to tell me about a place, I make every effort to see

it for myself.There wasn't going to be much time, but I had to see what Frank from

Lake Worth, Florida was talking about.


 

 

 

 

From the moment I arrived at McMenamins (it was cold and wet - about 38 degrees),

it felt as if I'd just arrived in Ireland.There is a pub, beautiful gardens, and the structures

have an old European style.I had no more than an hour at the most to explore the place

. . . that meant playing the course was out, but I was o.k with that since I was jet lagged

and exhausted (and had a 1:50 tee time at Bandon Resort - Pacific Dunes later that day).

 

I've done a few features where I haven't actually played the course and there is something

about that experience that I really enjoy.First of all, the expectation of shooting a score can

be a distraction from seeing all of the details and observing the land and how it was shaped

to create the layout.Also the act of executing golf shots and working a camera can be chaos

. . .  I'm certainly not complaining about the gig, but there are times when one is not conducive

to the other.Luckily the grounds crew was out there performing aeration on the greens, so the

obsessive golfer in me had no choice but grab the camera bag and hit the trail to the first hole.


 

 

McMenamins 13th at day break

 

 

As I walked up and down the the dirt/gravel pathway leading to each hole, I realized

what a unique little course it is.No hole is over 100 yds and the variety is masterful.I

walked away thinking "is there another par 3 course in America that has 20 holes and

all are under 100 yards.The photos can't possibly convey the absolute charm that is

McMenamins.


 

 

 McMenamins 19th hole   (not a typo, the Pub Course has 20 holes)


 

 

As previously mentioned . . . . Hole 20

 

 

 

Next it was off to Bandon Resort 250 miles away.The scenery on the drive to Bandon

is beautiful, but is also very treacherous.The roadways twist and curve along mountains,

lakes, cliffs and they are often wet.There are many small towns along the path to Bandon,

one of which is a small logger town called Drain, Oregon.I was working up an appetite from

all of the driving, so I stopped in a local mini mart type grocery store . . . as I walked in the

store I realized that everyone in the store was staring at me as if I had just stepped out of

an alien spaceship.I guess slacks and a sweater were foreign garb to the wrangler wearin

flannel plaid nation.I purchased an old school bottled Coke, a few chicken tenders and booked

outta there before the locals decided what they wanted to do with the city boy in the fancy

clothes, it felt like a Twin Peaks episode.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally I arrived at Bandon Dunes Resort, my tee time at Pacific Dunes was in 15

minutes, so there was enough time to meet the head pro Michael, change into some

all weather gear in case the weather changed, and head to the first tee.I knew the

round would not yield my best golf considering all of the travel and lack of sleep,

but I was excited to tee it up on the #1 public golf course in the U.S, Pacific Dunes.

 


 

Behind the 11th at Pacific Dunes

 


 

 

I was paired with three great guys from Colorado, Colt pictured wearing white, Don (in blue)

and Colt's Dad Jay (in the red).They had played Pacific Dunes earlier in the week, so they

guided me around.I had absolutely no game on the front nine other than a few smoke &

mirrors up and downs early on, certainly not a stellar ball striking display, but the golf course

is truly a masterpiece and in the most beautiful setting imaginable.On the back nine I finally

shook off the fatigue and played a version closer to normal my game.The boys from mile high

country were a blast to play with, so much so that we all had dinner together after the round.

If you're fortunate enough to play Pacific Dunes and have dinner at Pacific Grill, do yourself

a favor and order the double cut pork chop (with the smoked onion honey glaze) you won't be

sorry.We finished the meal by watching Kentucky finish off Kansas in the NCAA Basketball Finals.

Soon after, I headed back to my retreat at the resort and thought of all of the great public

access courses I've been fortunate enough to experience, and tried to figure out where Pacific

lined up on my own personal list.As I cranked up the fireplace, and started the bath water

I began to make a mental list of the great public layouts in the U.S where I'd been:Bethpage,

Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill, TPC Sawgrass, Pinehurst, World Woods, Whistling Straits, Kiawah

Island Ocean, and Erin Hills.Did Pacific measure up to those tracks? I thought about why each of

those courses are so revered . . . by the time I layed down to sleep, my thoughts had reversed -

do those courses measure up to Pacific?It was at that moment that I realized how special Keiser

& Doaks creation is.After a full day, I was overdone and crashed.Bandon Dunes and Bandon Trails

lie in wait, I would have my work cut out for me on day two.

 


 

Bandon Clubhouse


 

Day two was another full slate, but thankfully no travel was involved.I had a 7:50 a.m tee

time at Bandon Dunes and a 1:50 time at Bandon Trails.As I checked the weather forecast

I realized that there might not be much golf played on this day, it was 38 degrees and

raining hard.In Bandon that is not unusual weather, and I knew that beforehand so I

geared up and headed to the course for my starting time.There was no point in trying to

warm up on the range, this would be an exercise in surviving the conditions, not making a

score or even reviewing the course.There was me and two other lunatics waiting to go off

the first tee, that's it.I then realized that my wool cap wouldn't repel water, so I headed

inside the pro shop for a Gortex Bucket hat to keep the keppe warm and dry.We teed off

and walked down the fairway, I had no idea who these guys were but I knew none of us

would finish this round.I hit a surprisingly decent drive down the right center, an adequate 5

iron just left of the green and a perfect bump & run chip into the bank that should have left

a tap in par, but the greens were under water, even taking your putter out was useless.By

this time the ice cold water was running down my legs and into my shoes.When we reached

the 3rd tee it was clear to me that this round was just not gonna happen . . . then it became

clear to the two other nameless linksters next to me, they looked at me & the three of us

sloshed our way back in.


 

Lakeside - Chrome Lake Resort accommodations

 

 

I retreated back to Chrome Lake suite #442 and really thought it would be a day of R&R

and watching Masters media coverage.The radar looked ominous, but there looked to be

a possible break in the weather around 1p.m, so with guarded optimism I left the door

open to try Bandon Dunes again later, but the 36 hole plan had no shot.By 12:30 the

weather broke, and I bolted to the same tee box I had started on 5 hours previous.The sun

was shining, it was nearly 50 degrees and the true linksland had drained better then liquid

plumber on a faulty sink.Only a lob wedge approach into the 1st (5 iron needed in the a.m

during the frozen quagmire).I walked Bandon Dunes and finished at 4pm (barely over 3

hours), a score was there for the taking, I limped in with a 75 . . .  a front side 35 had me

hoping for better.

 

Bandon Dunes is one of the most fun and memorable experiences one could have on a golf

course.The layout had great variety, magnificent seaside views, and holes that just dazzled

your senses.Hard to imagine two rounds more fulfilling than walking both Pacific & Bandon

in nice weather.

 

The par 3 -12th at Bandon Dunes

 

 

Was the original plan of 36 holes still possible? I wasn't sure, but I was determined to find out.

I dashed around the corner to the Crenshaw/Coore layout known as Bandon Trails and teed it up

hoping I could walk another 18 in 3 hours or so.

 

My body wasn't up to it, but my mind was doing a hard sell . . . so the body got dragged along

against it's will.(As I write this piece, it's a week since this journey and I'm still recovering).

It's all walking at Bandon, if you can make it through 36 - your third go around is on the house

. . . good luck with that one. I played as a single all afternoon, that was the only possible way

to cover that much ground in so little time, and luckily the early rain kept the masses away.I

had to go through one group of Bandon employees on the par 3 fifth, and did'nt see another

golfer until I reached the tee on the uphill par 5 sixteenth.Finally on the 18th tee, I caught up

with the group and had to wait as the sun was setting on the Pacific.It was at that moment

that mother nature decided to make it rain. I was thankful that the forecasted late afternoon

precipitation had held off until I was nearly done with the trek around another of the finest

 layouts America has to offer.My six foot par putt poured into the jar as the sun hit bottom.

 

The par 4 tenth at Bandon Trails                                                                           (what's the blue object in the trees?)

 

 

 

 

Bandon Trails to me was so much more than I expected, Coore/Crensahaw are masters at what

they do.If you argued that Trails was the best course on the property, I might not totally agree

. . . but I'd have no argument to counter with.Almost a hidden gem - if you will.


After the 36 hole walk in 6 hours I was wiped out and sore, so the only way to go was to order

room service and another session in the tub.Another 2 rounds were on the slate for day three,

so I crashed.Day three was another iffy forecast, and once again I dashed to the tee to try to

get out ahead of everyone.

 


 

Old MacDonald - 7th green

 

 

 

I was the first to tee off at 7:30 on Old MacDonald, Tom Doak's ode to famous golf course

architect C.B MacDonald.Old Mac might be the most authentic links layout of the group at

Bandon, and had many spectacular holes but was in no way the visual stunner of Pacific

or Bandon Dunes.The greens are the main event at Old Mac, very large with crazy undulations.

After another mediocre round scoring wise, but enjoyable, I headed to the Tufted Puffin

restaurant/lounge (which is the sporty bar like area of the clubhouse) for breakfast.

The meal hit the spot, and I headed back to the room to get ready for a lunch meeting with B.R

Koehnemann from Kemper Sports/Bandon Resorts.After our Lunch, B.R invited me to take on

the new Bandon Preserve, a thirteen hole par 3 course that was originally slated to be twelve

holes, but after clearing some of the property for the routing, Coore/Crenshaw found another

spot perfect for the bakers dozen.Preserve is 100% grown in, the grand opening to the public is

May 1st, 2012.In order to leave the Preserve pristine for the grand opening, we hit every tee

shot off a lie board to protect it's condition until opening day.

 



The stunning Bandon Preserve opens to the Public on May 1st

 


 

Bandon Preserve #12

 

 

 

On my last night in Bandon, I decided to head over to McKee's Pub which is right next to the pro

shop at Bandon Dunes.The theme is all Irish, and although I'm not a drinker I can appreciate a cool

watering hole . . . so I went for the Fish n Chips and an Arnold Palmer, the perfect meal to finish off

the Bandon Resort experience.

 



Mac Hall & McKee's Pub

 

The next morning I had a 400+ mile drive headed north, back towards Seattle and a 1:55

tee time at Chambers Bay (site of the 2010 U.S Amateur & 2015 U.S Open), but I knew

I'd have to come back to Bandon one day, it's uniqueness can't be overstated . . . as far

as I was concerned the hype had to keep getting louder to match the experience.

 

http://www.bandondunesgolf.com/

 

Full reviews of each Bandon course coming soon in the Course Review section.


 

Next in Bruno's Blog: An afternoon on the Puget Sound at Chambers Bay


 

 

 

 



 
Butch Harmon: Q & A PDF Print E-mail
Written by BRUNO   

 

 

 

 

In a recent conference call with Butch Harmon (regarding his new DVD -

Butch Harmon About Golf), LinksNation.com participated in a 45 minute

Q & A with the games most accomplished and honest instructor. Butch

talks about his life teaching, and many players on tour, from Luke Donald,

Adam Scott, Nick Watney, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Greg Norman.

 

The session started out with questions regarding the instructional DVD that

was being introduced, which by the way, is by far the most comprehensive

of it's kind (we highly recommend it).Once the golf writers covered the business

at hand, it was off to the juicy questions and Butch's take on many things golf

. . . and if You've ever met Butch, then you know he does not lack opinions and

is not stingy with doling them out.


 

Q: Butch you've talked about the things that you've learned from guys that

you've worked with, can you give a few examples?

 

BH: Sure, the things I taught Tiger early on in the shortgame were things I

learned from Seve and Greg Norman.The time I spent with both of them through

the years . . . talking with them and asking them how they did things.When I

first started with a young Tiger Woods when he was 17, he couldn't spin the

ball very well, and I tried to explain to him how to hit shots and how to do it

. . . I would use Seve and Greg as examples, and Jose Maria Olazabal also.At

major championships when Tiger was an amateur, or just turned pro, I would

make sure I have him play with the great major champions so he could pick

their brains, alot of what I taught Tiger in the shortgame came from Seve and

Greg Norman.

 

Q:Are there two or three guys that seem to have a comprehensive

understanding of their swing above and beyond the others?

 

BH:Well, Tiger Woods I think has a great understanding of the golf swing in

general, but you'd say that's a little crazy because he's changed it 4 times

. . . but that's his desire to get better, he always feels that he can get better.

 

I think what we've found with the average golf pro, is that they only know

how they do it . . . sometimes what they think they're doing they're not really

doing.Greg Norman had a great understanding of the mechanics of golf, that's

why I enjoyed my years with Greg so much.Alot of times a great player will

explain how they do it, when in reality they don't really do it that way.I thought

Tom Watson had a great grasp of the golf swing, and a nice way of explaining

it.In general, most good players sometimes don't even know how they do it,

they just know that they do it this way and they perceive that this is what

they're doing.

 

Q:Is there a common strength or trait with the players you have coached?

 

BH: For me I think work ethic was always a big thing, I'm a workaholic and I

put my heart and soul into it with these guys.Obviously when your workin with

a tour player versus the average player, with the average player you can

experiment.If you have an 18 handicap, if this doesn't work you can try this,

you can try that . . . with a tour player you're dealing with how they make a

living, so you have to be more precise in what you're doing with them.If you look

at all of the guys that I've ever taught, they all work real hard and if they don't I

don't stay with them for very long because then I think we're both wasting each

others time.The other thing is I'm brutally honest to a fault sometimes, I'm just

gonna tell it the way it is and I figure they're paying me for the information and if

they don't wanna hear it, that's fine they can go elsewhere . . . my job is to make

them better and that's why I try to be so honest with them.

 

Q:Can you talk about the evolution of the game and how it's being taught today,

what you like and don't like as far dealing with the average guy more than as it

relates to the tour pros?

 

BH:The game has changed completely, equipment has changed the game,

agronomy has changed the game, the conditioning, fitness and flexibility is so

much more important today than it was, and the way we teach has changed.The

way I teach today is different than the way I taught ten years ago.We evolve

through time in what we believe, the big difference between modern teachers

and the way that I grew up with my father and all of the great teachers of his

time, is that today everybody teaches systems now . . . where everybody needs

to this and everybody do that, I don't buy into it at all.If we went out right now

(with a large group of people) to play golf, we would see ten or fifteen different

golf swings, different flexibilities, different strengths, so I don't think that you

can teach everyone the same way, if we did that, everybody's swing would look

the same.Our belief is there are two ways to teach golf, you can teach golf to

people, or you can teach people to play golf and we choose to teach people to

play golf.

 

Q:With all of the different swings, do the fundamentals stay the same?

 

BH:Basic fundamentals never change, grip, posture, ball position, alignment,

they're gonna stay the same, I don't care what area you're talking about.If

you set up poorly and your aim is wrong, if your ball position is wrong, if your

posture is wrong, then now you have to do something in that golf swing to

overcome that or compensate for that . . . so basic fundamentals have always

been important and they still are today.

 

Q:Can you identify two or three players who's swings are most mechanically

sound right now?

 

BH:I think Adam Scott probably has the best swing in golf, mechanically. If you

look at his positions throughout his swing they're perfect.Adam when he was

younger and worked with me, when he started here as a teenager with me in Las

Vegas he played alot with Tiger. Adam on his computer to this day has pictures

and video that we took from the 2000 British Open at St.Andrews after Tiger

had just won the U.S Open by 15 (strokes) and the British by 8.For me, I thought

it was the best positions I had ever seen anybody get a golf club into, and Adam

has used that as a barometer for himself . . . I think Adam Scott has fundamentally

the best swing in the game.

 

Q:Have you covered in the new video (DVD - Butch Harmon About Golf) playing

in bad weather, specifically rain ?

 

BH:The dvd covers playing in high winds, but in rain I think you have to show

a tremendous amount of patience, because the tendency is run out from under

the umbrella and hit the shot and run back underneath the umbrella.Earl Woods

used to make Tiger as a very young man go out and practice in the rain, because

he knew Tiger would have to play in the rain.To give you a comparison, my brothers

and I used go to Europe to do a thing for Red Bull, and we would go to Scotland,

and we'd get the 30 best juniors (15 girls/15 boys), and then we'd go to Ireland for

4 days and we'd get the best 30 best from there . . . we actually had Rory McIlroy

when he was 14 years old in one of our sessions.The things my brothers and I

remarked about was that the weather was so bad, it was awful, it was cold & rainy,

conditions were terrible, and these kids never once complained . . . all they wanted

to do was get better.So when you play in poor conditions, especially rain, you have

show alot of patience, you have to actually do things a little slower and take more

time because of the weather conditions.The tendency is to get the shot over with

because you just want to stay dry, well if that's the case you probably shouldn't be

out there, second of all you have to keep your equipment dry, your grips have to stay

as dry as possible, whether you're wearing an all weather glove or you have alot of

towels, you just have to get into the flow of being more patient.


Q:What players do you think will have a stand out season this year?


BH:I think Nick Watney should have a fantastic year, last year he was 3rd on the

money list, unfortunately he didn't play as well in the majors.I thought he put too

much pressure on himself in the majors because he knows that everything you do is

geared on how you do in majors, so this year we talked alot in the off season about

approaching things differently in the majors, I talked about how I just want him to

relax and just play golf.

I'm really jacked up about taking on Gary woodland, this kid is a natural talent, he's

unbelievable, his desire to get better is phenomenal so it's gonna be fun. I really do

believe once Phil gets his confidence going with the putter, he is going to have a

wonderful year (just 10 days after this Q&A, Phil would win at Pebble Beach).I think

he'll win a major, and a bunch of tournaments, but he has to get his confidence

going.

 

Q:How much more does the physical fitness aspect figure into your teachings  now ?


BH:It figures in a lot, one of the changes we've seen at the professional level, is that

if you think back to the players from my era or the players from my fathers era, all of

the golfers like Hogan, Player, Trevino and these guys they were 5'7"/5'8"/5'9", 5'10"

would have been a tall guy. You look at these players today, they're 6'1"/6'2"/6'3" big

strong kids who generate a tremendous amount of speed, so physical fitness is a big

part of that, even at the higher handicap level we see people more involved in taking

care of their body.Flexibility is maybe even more important than strength.So (as a

teacher) you have to change the way you approach the swing.The other thing that

we found out, is that through testing at the Titleist Performance Institute, testing

on all of our students for flexibility, we found out why some people cant do the

things that we want them to do because maybe they're locked up in the shoulders,

and that's why they don't make a good shoulder turn, I have problems with my left

hip, I have really bad arthritis.

In the past when you tried to help somebody rotate one way or another, they

physically weren't capable of doing that, well now with these various tests that we

can give students, with stretching and exercises that are prescribed, no matter what

their problem is, it allows them to do things that in the past I wasn't aware that

their body wouldn't allow them to do it because it wasn't anything that we worked

on . . . so that has helped tremendously with everybody that teaches.


Q:When you meet an average golfer on an airplane once they recognize you, do they

ever try to have you do an instant diagnosis of their swing?


BH: Yeah, only every time I get on an airplane.Golfers wanna get better, we all want

to play better.Everybody is so wrapped up in distance these days, that's all we hear

about on tv, that's all manufacturers talk about.I'll give you an instance: I was on a

plane, sitting in first class, this guy recognizes me (on his way to Doral), He says,

You have the secret to distance, You have to help me hit it further.I said, why would

You say that I have the secret to distance?He said, everybody You teach hits it far.

I said, sir in reality all of these kids out there hit it far.He says, look you have the

secret to distance and I need to hit it further.So I said you have to swing it more in

balance and all the normal stuff, like hit it more in the center of the clubface, and he

says, no YOU have the secret to distance and I need 20 more yards.So, I say alright

I'll tell you what I'll do, I'm going to guarantee you that I'll get you to hit the ball 20

more yards further.His ears and eyes perked up, and he says, how are you going to

do that?I said, just move up to the next of tees will ya!



Q:You were working a little with Mike Weir, can you tell us about those sessions?


BH:I was working a little with Mike, my goal was to help him get back to being Mike

Weir, then he had to have surgery which derailed him.I've always admired Mike, Mike

was kind of a middle of the road guy in terms of how far he hit it, and an intense

competitor.A good golfer with a desire to compete, which you can't teach . . . the

game in a way passed him by (distance wise), because everybody started hitting it

farther and farther and he didn't.I was trying to help Michael get better as Mike Weir

the golfer, for good players as well as amateurs, you have to know what your

capabilities are, you have to recognize what can do and what you can't do and

sometimes guys get so wrapped up that don't hit very far and they end up ruining

the things that made them so good.We are actually neighbors where I own a house

in Park City, Utah . . . my house is about 25 yards from his place.Now that he's had

the surgery, I wish him nothing but the best with his recovery, and hope he can get

back to being Mike Weir.


Q:Your philosophy is to enhance a players natural ability, what does Nick Watney do

well (that you've tried to enhance)?


BH:I saw Nick first when he was a senior at Fresno State, he was a friend of one

of my closest friends Sam Reeves, I saw him play as an amateur . . . then when he

turned pro he came and started working with me.Nick was a very natural type of golfer.

I would say, he really didn't have any idea how he was doing it, but he knew he

could shoot low.He had the ability to shoot really low numbers, which is an ability

that not alot of people have.He's big strong kid who had a lot to learn, and I like the

fact that he wanted to learn.If you look at his swing as a college senior, and as a

tour veteran, there are some differences in the swing that you may not notice

so much.His footwork and lower body movement is a little different, the pace of his

swing is a little smoother, but in general it looks very similar to what it used to be . .

. we just tried to improve on it.


Q:Can you talk about Luke Donald's swing and how he's been able to maintain it

during his career?


BH:Luke for a guy who has been so consistent for the last 18 months, he did it in a

strange way because he's not the longest hitter, and he hasn't been a very accurate

driver which is surprising when you look at his stats.He is one of the best iron players

in the game and has phenomenal a short game and just putts wonderfully.I think the

thing that impressed me about Luke Donald is, and I have to call myself out on this

. . . I was not a big fan of Luke Donald being the best player in the world because he

didn't win alot, and he really proved me wrong.He is very consistent and very rarely

finishes out of the top ten, obviously he hasn't won a major, but you have to think

that's on the horizon.I have been very impressed with Luke Donald, I think it's a big

year for Luke Donald because he has to validate what he did last year (Luke Donald

actually won the Transitions Championship about 6 weeks after this Q&A) there will

be alot of pressure on him.Rory McIlroy is the same way, he has to validate what he

did in 2011 (Rory won the Honda a week before Donald won in Tampa) and Webb

Simpson is another one who is going to have to prove to the golf world that they

really are this good.In Luke Donald's case, he really is that good.


Q:There were 4 different winners of the majors last year, which one surprised you

the most?


BH:Probably Charl Schwartzel at Augusta, when Adam Scott made that 10 or 12

footer on 17 I thought he'd just won the Masters.I thought that was going to bring

him his first major championship and then Charl birdied the last four holes which was

phenomenal.

Everybody would think I'd say Keegan Bradley, but Keegan Bradley is a good player

and we were all surprised that Jason Dufner didn't win that one, that would have

been the most surprising.Keegan is a pretty steady player, but the way that

Schwartzel won the Masters surprised me the most.The one we may have all enjoyed

the most was Darren Clark.I couldn't have been happier for Darren, although I had

two of my players finish second, in Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson.I worked with

Darren alot in the past, his win at the Open Championship at Royal St.Georges was

probably received the best by the players.


Q:What did Phil do differently that week (2011 British Open) than in the past at the

British Open?


BH:He played under control, the same thing that I've tried to talk to him about this

season, which he hasn't been able to bring to the course yet this season (Phil won

just weeks after this Q&A at Pebble Beach), not swing out of control, to control his

ball flight . . . I finally taught him how to hit the ball low into the wind and I really

think the little putt he missed on the eleventh hole derailed the momentum he had,

but that's golf.It was the first time in his career that he really played 72 holes in

control as far as his golf swing, didn't try to overpower things, swung more in control

. . . that's something I've been trying to beat into his head for 5 or 6 years.When he

does that he plays so much better, that was our goal this year, to control it like that.


Q:What's your motivation to keep going out and doing what you do ?


BH:First of all, I've taught my whole life, even as a youngster playing in junior

tournaments, I always loved to help the guys I was playing with.I've just been

around it my whole life, it's just what I do, it's my passion, my mission in life

so to speak.I don't think I'll ever stop teaching people, our 16 year old is a

junior in high school now . . . so we've got about a year and half till he's off to

college, and my wife and I will be able to do a few more things and I won't travel or

spend as much time on the road as I do now, but I'll always teach.I get people that

say to me, you must get so much more satisfaction from Phil Mickelson winning his

third Masters, I said not really, you probably make more money for it, and get more

recognition for it because of your contacts with a certain player, but in reality I get

as much satisfaction or more from someone who's never broken 90 who shoots 87 for

the first time.It's a great rush to know that you could help someone get better, and

that's what teaching is all about.It doesn't matter if you're a professor or a grade

school teacher, if the people you're teaching always improved and get better and

they get to enjoy the game of golf . . . that's really what pushes me, it's just my

passion to help people.If they outlawed golf, I'd have to rob 7 Eleven's, I don't know

what I'd do.







 

 

 


 



 
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