By Fred Altvater
After his win at the Ft. Worth Championship, Justin Rose was in the field for the Memorial last month at Muirfield Village. During his Wednesday press conference, he was asked, what kept him striving to win and compete?
His answer gives an insight into the variables and inconsistencies that drives everyone to play the game of golf at all levels,
“The club travels 27 feet from start to finish. If the club face is one degree open at impact that makes a huge difference in a 300-yard drive. The margins are small, plus there are so many reasons, the game is different every day. Your swing can be different depending on how your body feels, the wind is different today than the day before. The pins are in different positions every day. If you had a low round yesterday, you are facing an entirely different golf course today. Thus, one swing thought will not suffice from day to day. The game is constantly evolving and every individual golfer must challenge themselves to adapt to the current conditions. There are just so many variables that can affect play.”
Rose went to say that he personally enjoys the constant change and testing himself to perform his best. He puts the work in on the range, as well as, on the short-game area, plus the putting green to assure he can meet the challenges the next round will present.
He also said that as he has gotten older he realizes he needs to simplify things on the golf course.
Rather than going through a mathematical equation on every hole, he has learned to reduce the equation to one number and play to that.
He cited a round he played in Chicago several years ago, where he had to rely on the yardage provided by a local caddie. The caddie simply gave him the yardage to the pin. No front, back, middle, over the ridge, to the bunker stuff, just one number to hit his shot.
Rose revealed that simple number freed up his mind and he posted one of his best rounds ever. He has tried to incorporate that simple method, since that day.
Rose has won nine PGA Tour events, including a U.S. Open. In addition, he has won 11 European Tour events and has been a top touring professional for 19 years. That is a lot of different golf courses, hotel beds and airplanes.
Every golfer has to embrace the challenge of each round and opportunity to test themselves against par to have any hope of succeeding at the eternally confounding game of golf.