Friday, February 3, 2017

Flashback Friday: 1982 LA Open Coverage

A new piece I wanted to add to the blog is call Flashback Friday.  Here I look back at old school televised rounds, clinics, etc.  Today, here's a look at the 1982 LA Open which featured a duel between Johnny Miller, Tom Watson and Tom Weiskopf.  Some great ballstriking on display here:

While I don't think the old school players were infallible in their mechanics, I do think they were generally onto something.  People forget that the driving range was still not the most popular concept.  As the great Al Geiberger once told me, he had to pick up his own range balls when he was on Tour!

Combine that with the clubs they were using, it's hard to deny that some things they did mechanically were superior.

Another aspect that golfers often forget is the greens. As I have mentioned on various occasions in Pro Golf Synopsis, the modern greens are smoother putting surfaces, with less slope and are nearly twice the size of the old school courses.  We will see that up close next week at Pebble Beach.

This means in order to shoot low score, it may be even MORE dependent on ballstriking 'back in the day' because not as many putts were falling.  Players were less likely to hit GIR and less likely to convert their scrambling opportunities.

A few things I noticed about this was:

Johnny Millers left foot action - I've seen players move their left foot as they come into impact, but I've never seen an action quite like Miller's.

Pace of Play - these guys didn't take too much time out there and were ready to go.  Is it just me or do the truly great ballstrikers always seem to the be faster players and the great putters tend to be the slower players?

Lack of Worrying About Swing Mechanics - You don't see these guys have these elongated pre-shot routies where they are checking their positions.  Some of these guys didn't even take practice swings.  Unconscious competency at its finest.


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