Golf is worldwide, just like the circumstances

Posted by on February 19, 2020  /   Posted in golf reviews

In the course of a year on the European Tour, the players visited 31 countries in all different weather conditions. They have played in cold, windy conditions in Scotland and Ireland, under scorching sun in the deserts of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and let the ball fly in thin mountain air on courses in Switzerland and South Africa. There have also been plenty of perfectly sunny days.

Their golf trip culminates this week in the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai. The event will determine who wins the season-long race to Dubai from the European Tour.

While everyone who plays the tour certainly collects frequent flier miles, that means traveling constantly adapting to new conditions, temperatures and heights that affect a golf ball

far in the windy, cold Scotland, but in the dry heat of Dubai. But there is also the grass to consider. It picks up the ball one week in South Africa, making it higher and easier to hit, and swallows it or winds it around the next on Dubai's Bermuda grass, a grass that is great for heat that also putts can redirect at the last second

There are also height differences. The ball in the Swiss mountains flies further than at sea level.

Throw in the influence of jet lag and heat or cold on the players, and you have the potential for very different playing conditions every week. And although the best golfers in the world sort things out, players, caddies, and coaches said that adaptation takes time and is a learned skill. especially the young professionals, & # 39; said Alan Burns, a professional caddy who works for Justin Harding.

“They leave and bomb it, and there is no calculation for it. After they have been there a little, they want to learn and ask how circumstances influence the ball flight. "

Burns said he gave Harding two yardages: the actual and the" Bryson ". The second he named for the PGA Tour pro Bryson DeChambeau, who studied physics at the university and brought scientific accuracy into his game Burns gives DeChambeau the honor to show what a golf ball does in different circumstances.

"Let's say it's 170 meters," Burns said. "I'll say our Bryson number is 180. I always called it the altitude number, but he said I don't understand it. "

The variation in distances based on temperature and altitude can be great for the same club. Sam Horsfield, who has been on the European Tour since 2017 said he had to adjust his distance to grow up in Orlando.

Under normal circumstances – 75 degrees, near sea level – he hits a 200 irons 200 yards. When in the mountains in Johannesburg or the Swiss Alpen is playing, the same club can send the ball 225 yars, but if he is in cold weather in Scotland or Ireland, he said he could hit the iron 165 meters. "It all depends on the climate," he said

This week in Dubai, the heat will make the ball fly a little farther, with temperatures predicted in the mid-80s, but the greater concern among some players was the Bermuda grass.

"If you play on Bermuda elt, you get a lot of kites, "says Richard Sterne, a European Tour professional who will play in the DP World Championship, referring to shots that jump out of the rugged and travel farther than expected. "Your technique must be pretty good."

Mr. Burns, the caddy, said some players like Mr. Harding had two sets of wedges to adapt to the other grass: one set for Bermuda and rye grass, the other for normal and softer conditions.

Mr. Sterne, who became a professional in 2001, said he generally adjusted to different circumstances within a day or two. But it requires work on the training ground and on the job. For him, tranquility is perhaps the most important variable.

"Our tour is all over the world," he said, noting that the flight home from the Turkish Airlines Open to South Africa took about 10 hours. “We have to adapt to travel and food much faster. The boys in the US don't have to do that. It is heavy for the body. "

Michael Bentley, a performance coach at Paradigm Performance Group, said that consistently playing in different circumstances required extensive preparation outside the site books. He breaks it down into four components: physical condition, mental state, swing technique and tactical approach

When it comes to tactical preparation can mean that you have to practice three layers of clothing to get used to colder conditions or a rain suit, even on a sunny day.

"If I I can get something pretty powerful about those simulations, "Mr. Bentley said.

" A player may think, "I know I'm 80 percent effective with this shot in these circumstances." He is not there and says: "This is a brand new 1-iron, I have never worn these pants before, these shoes are stiff, this ball is brand new." The stress level of that guy is through the roof. "

It is that mental component where different circumstances can affect even the best players. Ben Kimball, senior director of championships at the United States Golf Association, founded the United States Women's Open in 2011 and the United States Senior Open in 2018 at the Broadmoor Golf Club in Colorado Springs, a course that is 6,000 feet above sea level.

"It yielded an element over which I had no control," said Mr. Kimball. "It set up a golf test and forced them to use their brains without manipulating anything on the ground."

The effect of the height on the golfers was reflected in the scores, he said. The winning score for the Senior Open 2018 it was three under par. It was 16 under the year before and 19 under the year after, both runways near sea level.

"It becomes so much more mental on the height side," he said "You must trust what you touch. Will my 8-iron really fly 200 meters? "

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