How many of you watched the final round with Tiger Woods and Zach Johnson yesterday? What at an example of being in the depths of the valley and in one swing you land on the top of mountain. I have been with Zach when he had 162 yards into the 18th green at TPC at Southwind in Memphis and he hit the same 8 iron and with two bounces it ended up in the bottom of the cup for eagle. It was one of those nice chest bump moments even though it was in the Wednesday Pro-am of the St. Jude Classic. I was shocked just as much as you were to see him hit that 8 iron into hazard coming down the 18th yesterday.
Let’s be real guys, how many of us would have had a mental beat down on ourselves and thrown in the towel and given up…and say, ”oh well, I guess it wasn’t meant to be, at least I came in second.” What? Are you kidding me? It is never over until it’s over. There are too many times when we face adversity, the world will tell you to just cut your losses and move on. If you hit a tough time in your marriage (I have been there men), find yourself in the deep bunkers of debt, (yep, been there) or find out that you just lost your dream job (oh yes, been there too) I want to encourage you to stay the course and keep swinging.
James 1: 12 states; 12Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
I am so proud of Zach and how he persevered and committed to hitting the next shot to the best of his ability and allowed the results to take care of themselves. We ALL face difficult times in life and remember, we have a God in heaven that can pull us through any situation. I love this quote by Max Lucado; “Don’t measure the size of the mountain; talk to the One who can move it.”
You may be just one swing away from standing on top of that mountain that seemed so big and so insurmountable. Let this shot by Zach be an inspiration to keep swinging even when you find yourself in the hazards of life.
Golf is a game that is a mirror to the soul. It can reflect the good and the bad all in 4 hours on the course. I would guess that any interview process to work for a golf company would start with an initial tee-time. What a great way to get to know someone and to see how they react during successes and more importantly how they react to adversity. In my 40+ years of playing golf I can’t remember a round without facing some kind of trial. Can you relate? Like you, I love strolling the fairways with my buddies, my business partners, potential new customers and a reminder for all of us is; after a round of golf would I be hired?
Check out the leaderboard for the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge. You will see two names…Tiger Woods (shot a sweet little 62 on Friday) and Zach Johnson who backed up his opening round of 67 with a very solid 68. There are several reasons these two are on top but let me encourage you to observe their wedge play over the weekend. I believe that every one of you can lower your scores by winning with your wedges. You must first answer these three questions; 1. How many should I carry? 2. What is your favorite number? 3. What kind of swing? Let’s listen to this interview by Scott McCarron as Zach answers each of these questions in detail.
Let’s address the first question, who many wedges does Zach carry? Three, that’s right. I realized from my caddy experience with Zach that he is a master of his wedges. He carries a 48, 54 and 60 degree. What about you? I personally carry four, my PW, GW, SW and Lob wedge. (48, 52, 56 & 60 degrees) My guess is your buddies struggle with the distance between their PW and SW…answer…Gap Wedge.
The second question was also answered by Zach as he shared with us how he loves having 80 yards for a stock 60 degree lob wedge. How about you? I love having a 100 yard shot which is my stock SW a.k.a. 56 degree. You must dial in your numbers, here are mine;
When you start to dial in your wedges and really know your numbers you will then learn the secret of winning with your wedges.
Zach also answered the third and final question, what kind of swing. He referred to an arm swing much like his buddy Steve Stricker. Many of your buddies have way too much hand action with their wedges which can lead to numerous inconsistent shots. Your wedges should be your scoring tools and by using more of an arm swing you will be come laser-like as you start firing darts at the pins.
My final swing thought for you is as you set your golf goals for 2014, make sure your Wedge Play is toward the top of the list. Now, let’s sit back and watch what could be an exciting finish with a Tiger vs. Zach pairing.
I look forward to seeing you on the course of life.
This week I again had the privilege and honor to caddy for 2007 Masters Champion Zach Johnson in the McGladrey Classic Pro-Am. It was my third time to loop for Zach and was such an amazing experience I wanted to share it with you.
Let’s do this…
The McGladrey Classic kicked off on Monday with a Pro-Am with the PGA Tour Professional that live on the St. Simons Island, GA also known as the Golden Isle area. I was set to meet Zach at 9:00am on the putting green since it was set for a 10:00am Shotgun Start. My host family was Dr. Morris Pickens (known as Dr. Mo) a renown sports psychologist for Zach Johnson, Jonathan Byrd, Nick Watney, Stewart Cink, John Rollins and several other PGA Tour Pros.
Dr. Mo and I pulled into the parking lot about 8:30am and as we pulled in Davis Love III pulled in right next to us. Davis serves as the local Host Pro for this great event. As I was heading to the putting green, I saw Zach pull in so I snuck up behind him and waited for him to get out of his car. I opened the door for him and said, “I am here to serve.” After a solid fist bump he opened the trunk and pointed to his clubs and said, “they’re all yours Scotty.”
The next 5 hours was an absolute dream day. Here is a little picture gallery I put together. Please comment and let me know what you think. Also, please share on Twitter and Facebook with the buttons provided at the bottom. Thank you.
Zach is one of the world’s best putters.
an amazing close to a dream day.
Mike is Zach’s swing coach
Z walking me through the numbers in his yardage book
You can see how Z holds his finish on all putts
Just outside the right edge
I like it Z!
It was blowing 20-30mph all day…tough conditions.
We actually talked more about life than golf…crazy.
Zach is sneaky long.
Zach loves to toss the golf ball at ya before you are looking.
On June 7, 2011 I found myself driving the #IHGGolf Rig from Nashville to Memphis toward the FedEx St. Jude Classic that was being hosted at TPC at Southwind. There can only be one author of this story that I am about to share with you and that author is God.
I was about to embark upon an experience that can only come from the hand of God as He opened the door to caddy for now my good friend Zach Johnson , and if that wasn’t enough of an amazing experience the Lord was also going to team us up with Tim Tebow and his good friend Coach Urban Meyer. Are you sitting down? Strap in and hang on for the ride as you join me on this amazing journey.
I am looking forward to hosting an IHG Leadership Training Workshop at Johnson Ferry BC.