Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Rory McIlroy

I just love this kid. He's possibly the next great one. He's not only a champion, but he's managed to remain grounded and humble, something that can't be easy to do when you've had the kind of success he's had and have all the hangers-on around you trying to ingratiate themselves.

I loved the fact that he was man, or gentleman enough to say after the great win by Jordan Spieth in Australia that given a hundred tries he couldn't have duplicated Spieth's incredible final round. I'm not sure that what he said was strictly true, because he's capable of absolute magic on the course when his driver and putter cooperate. In fact, when his driver and putter are working at the same time, the rest of the field is playing for second.

I just wish I could give him some advice. Actually, my advice and half a buck wouldn't get you a coffee, so I wish Jack Nicklaus would give him some advice. He seems to be becoming fitness-obsessed, like Tiger. When I see pictures of him doing squats, or lunges or whatever with a bar with two volkswagons on each end over his shoulder, I just cringe. You can do too much of a good thing and pay dearly for it. If he wants to be one of the greats and have longevity in this game, he needs to be careful about becoming a powerlifter. He needs to watch video of Sam Snead.

In speaking of the modern players and their swings, Harvey Penick said he preferred to watch the players on the Senior tour whose swings had stood the test of time. He warned that the modern players with their swings that rely so heavily on strong cores and rotation won't be around to play the Senior tour if they're not careful. As they age, their bodies won't stand up to the stresses. 

I think Tiger serves as both an example and a warning for Rory and others coming along. Tiger was and still may be magic, but his training regimen has hurt him. He was a better ball striker and player as a scrawny kid than he is now. Bobby Jones said you don't need the kind of strength used to bend iron bars to hit it far, you need speed. He should know. When necessary, he could hit it the ball prodigious distances with hickory shafts.

So, Jack, I'm asking you, if you agree, please have a word with the kid. I for one want to see him around for a long time. He's a breath of fresh air.