The King of Style

I can’t remember which tournament it was, but Arnold Palmer made an interesting comment while being interviewed about his grandson Sam Saunders.  He said the one piece of advice he had been giving him recently had nothing to do with his swing mechanics, short game or putting but rather about his style of play.  He was trying to stress to Sam the need to have your own style on tour.

I found this to be very interesting coming from one of the best golfers to ever play the game.  The king definitely had his own style of playing.  That is undeniable, but it got me thinking about the message he was trying to convey and how it applies to guys on the tour right now.  There are countless golfers out there who have great swings they have molded over years of practice, but that doesn’t really mean they have a style of playing

A great looking golf swing doesn’t always equate to a great golfer.  Look at guys like Mickelson, Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler or Ricky Barnes.  They all have great swings, but they are distinct.  When you see their swing you immediately say to yourself, “that was Phil” or “did you just see Bubba?”  The same can be said for Jack, Arnie, Watson, Kite and even further back Hogan!  Think about it!  They all have an “it” factor to their games and swings that you can’t quite explain, but that is distinctly theirs.

Mickelson has an unflappable short game, Bubba is a shot shaper, Fowler is a fearless putter and flag hunter and Barnes is a guy who constantly shows up at big events with a really low score or two.  There is something in each of these players that I would categorize as “intangibles”.  There is no other way to explain it.

If Arnold Palmer was stressing this to his grandson as a key to success as a professional golfer it must be important.  It also got me thinking about my game and what my style is.  Do I have a style and if so what is it lacking?  Thinking about it I decided that I really don’t have a style and it bothered me a little bit.  I can’t really pin point something in my game that is distinctly me.  Maybe that is why I am not out on tour!

As much as I want to have something in my game that is distinctly me, I don’t think it is something you can force.  It can be something as simple as always getting off the tee or always getting out of the sand in one shot, but it has to be genuine.  You can’t fake something like that.  Who knows, maybe this golf season will help shape an “it” factor in my game.  It would be fun, but I won’t hold my breath on becoming a chipping virtuoso like Phil anytime soon!

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2 Comments to “The King of Style”

  1. My style is to make birdies by hitting thin nine irons to five feet and to make double bogeys via shanked 6 iron approaches into hazards right of the green not considered to be ‘in play’

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