At the Firestone tournament Peter Kostis was telling the story: Butch Harmon became frustrated with Phil Michelson spraying his drives. As Kostis tells it, Butch told Phil, his father Claude and Ben Hogan talked often about how to gain driving consistency. Their answer: short, heavy, and stiff shafts. Seems we have heard that from Lag a few times.
Apparently, Phil shortened his driver and increased the weight of his shaft. It will be interesting to see how it affects his stats.
I would say to get more consistency it needs a bit more than Short, Heavy & stiff - since everytime i tune in i see Phil standing in the woods “planning” his next shot (57/43/29 % of fairway hits so far). At least short term its not working out well for him, lets see if he has the patience and continues this way
When Phil´s driving it that bad like this week, his game plan just falls apart. Whenever he is in trouble he chooses high risk over safe very often. That´s fine if you have to hit one or two shots this way in a round (and hey, we love Phil for going the high risk route, right ). But if you are in trouble just every hole, this strategy blows up right in your face.
The thing i hope for is, that he gets it together sooner than later, and takes the No. 1 spot in proper fashion, like winning or as a runner up, otherwise he will get it anyways since Tiger is toast and Lee Westwood is out of it for some time, so Phil could basically finish 10th for a couple of tournies and get to the top this way - but that would be a sad story, chasing the No. 1 for quite some time in his career and then getting it basically handed on a silver platter through mediocre play.
Guys like Phil, and many others need to be thankful they don’t have to play real golf courses that require a player to be complete… meaning extremely accurate off the tee, excellent long iron and mid iron games, and of course have great wedge chipping and putting games.
The fact that the tour sets up the courses allowing the top players in the world to average near or less than 50% of their fairways is the failing of the modern game.
Necessity is the mother of invention, and if they played true tests that required complete skills, we might see a change of the guard, as far as who is on top. Some of the guys, even Phil, might very well rise to the occasion and find a way to make it happen. Others surely might find themselves back at Q school. Things would be different.
As it is now, there is little or no motivation to change. Tour courses are not tight enough…rough is not high enough, milled faces and so forth are able to allow the club to grip the ball out of what little rough there is. Greens are perfect so players don’t HAVE TO stick it in tight all day long to make birdies, and long irons which are the most demanding clubs to hit and master are moving out the bags of the pros allowing worse golf swings to play at the pro level, the courses are getting shorter and shorter due to the modern drivers and ball even though they think they are making them longer and longer.
There are many reasons why we a not seeing the next Ben Hogan.