Brandt Snedeker captured his 7th PGA Tour victory at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. It was his second win at Pebble Beach in three years. He played some impressive golf with a combined total of 23 birdies and only one bogey. Brandt went on to shoot a score of 5-under 67 for a total score of 22-under par and a three shot victory.
After analyzing Brandt’s press conference we have categorized his answers into the five essential elements of the game to see how he got the victory.
It was a great interview and his answers were very interesting. It was evident he is a complete player and that his complete approach to the game helped him win. We can all learn a lot from his responses and gain a few insights to help us take our own game to the next level.
Brandt discussed that he has rededicated himself to his game after going win less for 18 months. His goal was to try and get better every week, “I put a lot of hard work in – there are no short cuts”. It was interesting that during this time he also begun a new health regime, ” My body feels the best it’s ever felt, I have no aches and pains.” He discussed how he is now a lot smarter about how he eats, how he works out and how he practices.
“When you’re unhealthy, when you’re hurt it’s hard to play great golf”
> A golfer needs to get smarter and work harder to play their best golf
> Eating clean and healthy food helps the body perform better
> Know your body’s limits so that you can practice or workout in a way that avoids injury
After making a few changes to his game, Brandt was pleased to see that his game could handle the pressure. “The only way you find out how you handle the pressure is to get into pressure”. He focused his mind on the things he could control and stuck to his own game. It didn’t bother him that other players were making a run at him because it was out of his control.
At the foundation of his return to competitive golf was a strong desire to get back to the top of his game and win. He missed being in contention and capable of winning on a regular basis. Brandt had to be patient during his return and at times it was frustrating for him.
“The game of golf is not easy, I don’t care who you are, everyone has their down times. It will beat you down but you gotta keep fighting.”
A very interesting point was that during the last few months he has got over the rut of being technical and thinking about his golf swing. “I haven’t been thinking about my golf swing. I’ve just been playing golf.” This allows him to engage the athletic part of his brain and focus more on what he wants to do with the ball.
“Playing golf and swinging the golf club are two completely different things”
> Desire is the motivational fuel that carries a golfer through the challenging times of the game
> Golf is cyclic and growth occurs from the down times
> To get comfortable with pressure, a golfer needs to get into pressure situations and learn from them
> Too many swing thoughts interfere with playing the game of golf.
> Time needs to be invested through practice so that you can swing the club without conscious thought.
Brandt changed his swing coach to Butch Harmon last year. He commented that Butch had really helped him gain a better understanding of his swing and that the changes were now starting to pay off.
Like all change there is always a transition time before a golfer feels comfortable again. Brandt commented that he enjoyed working with Butch because he his not too technical. During a typical 3 hour range session he may offer 1 swing thought, 15 mental thoughts and plenty of situation advice. This approach helps Brandt focus on playing smarter golf rather than being overwhelmed with too many technical thoughts.
> Find a swing coach who you get a long with and who doesn’t want to change everything about your swing
> Spend time focusing on the mental cues of your swing and also specific situations that you experience on the course
> Minimize the number of swing thoughts you have to engage the athletic part of your brain and to avoid mental interference
The course strategy Brandt had a Pebble Beach was vital to his victory. He commented that, “This is probably the best thinking week I’ve had on the PGA Tour”. This was evident by the fact that he only made one bogey in 72 holes. In his answers he commented that course knowledge and the way a golfer thinks around the golf course is very important. Golfers need to know where the safest place to miss is in order to limit their mistakes.
“Thinking is underrated on the PGA Tour”
Another course factor that was in Brandt’s favor was that he loves playing at Pebble Beach and their Poa Annua greens. As one of the games great putters this gave him confidence on the greens and helped him to make an impressive 23 birdies for the week.
> Golf is like a game of chess. A player needs to think several shots in advance.
> A good score can often be the result of minimizing the damage of bad shots
> Always think about where the best place to miss is. This often means selecting a target away from the pin
Brandt’s winning equipment was extremely interesting and was a talking point after his victory. It highlighted that regular equipment changes are not necessary and can sometimes be detrimental to a players game. The Driver Brandt uses is a 2010 Taylor Made Burner. He commented, “Until I find a Driver that goes straighter, I’m not gonna change. He has also had his irons for 4 years and his putter for over 9 years.
“I don’t like changing equipment, I like to keep variables to a minimum so I know it’s me who is messing up and not the clubs.”
A journalist joked that the current resale value for his putter and Driver is $34. In reply, Brandt said if anyone sees some more at that price he would be more than willing to buy them.
> Get fitted with modern equipment that is suited to your needs but then avoid getting caught up in the latest equipment releases every year
> Minimize the number of variables in your game so that you can become more consistent
> Opt for accuracy rather than distance when selecting a Driver
If you want to develop a strong mental game and strategic approach like Brandt Snedeker then you would like – Think Well Play Great.
Learn how to think like a pro and play smart golf with the Think Well Play Great eBook ($20 value) For FREE instant access, enter your email to receive the PDF and other time-saving bonuses...
IMPROVE YOUR GAME!
Learn how to think like a pro and play smart golf with the Think Well Play Great eBook ($20 value)
For FREE instant access, enter your email to receive the PDF and other time-saving bonuses...