1. Understand the biomechanics of club head speed.
2. Get your lower body activated.
3. Get your upper body in sync.
I don't care if the last round you played was yesterday or last October, if you think you're going to play at your best without properly warming up your body, you're wrong. If your body isn't prepped for 18 holes of golf, in a best case scenario you're not going to play as well as you can. In a worst case scenario, you're going to get hurt. Neither of those are scenarios that I'm guessing you're interested in experiencing.
I'm not going to ask if you're loading properly into your left side or if you're able to comfortably maintain your spine angle or if you're staying connected to the ground throughout your swing. I'm going to ask you a far more simple -- but no less important -- question: Are you having fun?
Most golfers have very selective memories. I'm sure you know players that can give you a network-TV-quality play-by-play of a brilliant approach shot they hit 23 years ago or of a drive to within a foot of the cup they hit in college. Ask them -- at the end of a round -- why their shoes are full of sand or why they're a couple of sleeves of balls lighter than when the round began, though, and suddenly memories become foggy.
In the week after the US Open, I must have been asked roughly eight million times if I think DJ had discovered some brand-new gear -- some “Beast Mode” -- that was going to let him go undefeated for the rest of the PGA Tour season. And while I told people that I’d like to be able to say “yes,” the answer -- to be really honest -- was “no.”
It not only lets me stay connected with friends, family, and colleagues wherever my crazy schedule takes me, but it also lets me have some great conversations with my ever-growing gang of Twitter pals. A few years ago, someone might have recognized me out on the course or while I was going about my day-to-day business down here in Florida and we’d be able to talk about golf, fitness, whatever. Today, though, anyone – anywhere! – can start a Twitter conversation with me 24/7. It’s a little bit mind-boggling.
I've seen plenty of things that have caused a player to lose his edge and slip athletically: injuries, lack of focus and discipline, improper nutrition, etc. Over the past couple of years, though, another factor has become more and more responsible for players not being able to perform at the top of their ability: economic pressure. With the PGA Tour season now being essentially a twelve-month long schedule of events, the lack of any real off-season is leaving many pros dealing with burnout both physically and mentally.
But if you followed the action at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in Maui, you would have seen a familiar face in a very unfamiliar position. It wasn't completely foreign territory. I had caddied for Vijay Singh many times back in 2004 and 2005, but I never planned on becoming the Brett Favre of caddies and coming out of retirement to carry the clubs. Life happens, though, and when Dustin Johnson's brother and caddie, Austin, went down with an injury, you do what you have to do.
The clubs may make a cameo appearance over the next few months during a weekend to Hilton Head or Myrtle Beach, but for the most part, once the clock strikes December, your playing days are done.