If you think today’s pro tour players are good and that the longer ones among them hit it far (both accurate assessments, because I’m not saying they aren’t or that they don’t), then let me tell you something about my day yesterday and let you wonder what they could do with mechanically-sound and properly leveraged Classic Golf Swings.
Yesterday, I enjoyed a great day on the course out at Royal Ashburn G.C. with David D.
This track is the former Fall Q School venue of the former Canadian Tour, and the ironic thing is that I actually worked there as a locker room attendant for a summer coming out of high school – and never once saw the course!
I didn’t play golf then (it was the summer of 1990, and I never picked up a club until ’95), and it was called Thunderbird G.C. at the time, but there you have it.
DJ & David D. At Royal Ashburn G.C.
Before anyone asks about a score – I don’t play golf, haven’t in years, and I am not delusional (if you don’t practice and play very regularly, you’re on a fool’s errand trying to post scores) – I am a swing analyst akin to a swing coach in baseball or speed coach in football, and neither of these actually go out and compete – nor do I see Butch Harmon or Sean Foley posting scores, and they are actual golf instructors (something I’ve never called myself), so let’s get that out of the way.
I last played for scores back in the 2009 season, when I took a year off swing research to simply play golf and see how my swing work had come along in the 3 years of my research, but I do like to get out to the course still, just to see how the swing plays as far as distance and accuracy.
On The Putting Green
This time, I hit a few putts on the practice green but no chips or full swings before teeing off, and the putting was much, much better (at the expense of everything else, of course) on the magnificent greens.
Yesterday was much along the same lines as last weeks’ outing to Mill Run G.C. with Welshman, though David D. and I rode a cart at Royal Ashburn – pretty good striking but a lot of mistakes that come from not playing regularly (last week’s round was the first 18 holes I’d played in 2.5 years) in the form of misalignment on the tee, under or over-clubbing and failing to take conditions into account (wind direction and strength, etc.), but I have to talk about one hole…
It’s a 600 yard par 5 from the black tees, and I hit a nice-ish drive down the left side, about 325 yards but with no run out because it landed in the left rough just off the fairway.
When we reached my ball, I lasered it as 275 yards to the center flag and looked at my bag – I had long irons (5-3) and nothing else – except two vintage Jack Nicklaus MacGregor persimmon woods, 3 and 4, that Welshman had given me to hit a couple of weeks back.
I looked at the lie in the rough and the 3 wood was out of the question, but I thought the 4 wood might have enough loft to get the ball out and still advance it to near the green for a little chip or pitch – otherwise, it was likely a 7 or 8 iron layup.
So I grabbed the 4 wood, took a practice swing or two, set up to the ball and quickly pulled the trigger.
Caught it beautifully, and it was either slightly pulled or the rough grabbed the head a bit – it took off out of there on a line just left of where I’d aimed, and I thought, “that’s going to be close to the green, just short left!”
It was actually better than that – I ended up hole-high, into the left greenside bunker on the fly (probably 270 yard carry or so judging from the splash mark) – and that was with an old Ben Hogan CS-3 Driver (7.5 loft and Aldila 70-S shaft) and the vintage MacGregor 4 wood (steel shaft) with a Titleist Pro V1!
Now, I raise this hole not just because it was exciting to pull that off the first time ever playing that hole, but because it should make you think…
I had said last week that I had exactly one range session in the previous four weeks, which means that yesterday, I’d had one range session and had “played” one round of golf over the past five weeks.
So, think about it…
If a 47 year old guy who doesn’t play golf at all anymore (you can’t do swing research and play competitive golf at the same time, as the two activities have far different goals and skill sets), who has scoliosis, who has had almost zero swing work in over a month, can get to a 600 yard par 5 hole with two swings using the equipment pictured above…
Could it be that the Classic Golf Swing (and especially the MCS golf swing model) is just that much superior to the Modern Golf Swing, where you’ll get breathless reports of the pros hitting 290 yard drives with a persimmon driver, as if that’s somehow superhuman?
Remember Rickie Fowler’s 292 yard drive with a persimmon driver and the following hype?
Notice the carry Rickie got with the driver. What do you think they’d have done if Rickie had carried a 270 yarder out of healthy rough with a 4 wood? Perhaps take out ads in the New York Times?
The point I’m making is that the classic era players hit drives back in the day, and hit their irons distances that would easily match today’s players if you discount the modern equipment and its advantages – and in my opinion, with the modern equipment, today’s pros aren’t even getting all that they could out of it, because they are swinging in the Modern Golf Swing style.
The three modern players known for swinging in the Classic Golf Swing style (Phil Mickelson, Vijay Singh before he turned 50 and Bubba Watson) are all multiple major winners and are or were at their prime among the longest-hitting pros in the game.
So, while I took some pleasure in what I did on that hole yesterday with the equipment I used…
… what do you think today’s pros would be doing to golf courses if they all swung with mechanically-sound and properly leveraged golf swing models?
They’d have to lengthen the courses to 8,000 yards just to challenge them! Or dial back the equipment.
Because, if you gave me a few months to work out and do nothing but hit balls and practice all day, with a few rounds per week… would there be a hole long enough that I couldn’t reach it in two from the tees, even at my age?
Likely not, unless you started doing things like doglegging them or putting silly hazards in the likely landing areas.
Oh yes – 74 years young David D. played from the whites yesterday with the other two gents in our foursome, and with the 100 yards I gave him, he out-drove me on that par 5 hole (which was playing 495 from the white tees…) – he wanted to make sure WAX Nation knew that!
PS – I didn’t get any video on the course, as David D. and I were paired with a two-some we didn’t know, and it would have been both bad form and rather distracting to have been playing around with video equipment or phones during the round. Perhaps another time out!
That green looks like a carpet! So nice. Those don’t look like the “greens”I’m used to now after the brutal hot summer out here on the west coast. Burnt grass, bumpy, its bad.
The greens were fabulous, Lance! A combination of a former professional venue and likely a lot fewer rounds played this season with all of the rain in the spring and summer.
They were slick downhill – I had a 30 foot downhill put that I was sure I nestled up to the hole on one green, and it crawled past the hole, kept trickling and I was left with an uphill 8-footer!
But I’ll never complain playing a course as well-groomed and lush as Royal Ashburn was yesterday.
Once you start playing more and get more familiar and connected with MCS, I think you will start finding the fairways.
I may also stay at a Holiday Inn Express, Chief – then I’ll really be playing smart! 😉