Tiger vs. Media: interesting kick-off to the 2012 Honda Classic

Piggy-backing a bit off a previous post on The Local Golfer Blog titled “Tiger Woods: Pissed Off About Hank Haney’s Tell All Book”, the golf and sports world was able to capture a glimpse of the frustration Tiger is enduring.  During the Wednesday news conference in Palm Beach Gardens, FL for the 2012 Honda Classic, Tiger engaged in a very temperamental exchange with golf journalist Alex Miceli.

Tiger Woods – 2012 Honda Classic – News Conference – 2/29/12

What shouldn’t be lost in this dialogue is the fact that this is Tiger’s 1st appearance in the Honda Classic since 1993 — when he was a 17-year-old amateur!  Hopefully this is the first of many Honda appearances for Tiger, especially since he moved to the West Palm Beach Area last year.

Regardless of the media spotlight hovering over this “testy” news conference, it’s very exciting to see Tiger back in the swing of things and making more regular Tour appearances.

Hunter Tops McIlroy in the Desert

Hunter Mahan defeated Rory McIlroy, 2 and 1, in the final match of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship for his fourth career victory and first in 18 months.

“It could springboard him into being the best American player,” NBC’s Johnny Miller said on Sunday’s telecast. “I think he’s ready to have that label.”

Mahan may be best known for his chunked chip in the 2010 Ryder Cup.

“I have to chip and putt if I want to win and that was a strength this week,” he said. “I made a putter switch and felt great on the greens immediately.”

McIlroy will remain ranked number two in the world after having a chance to move up to the top spot with a win.

Tips From the Pro: The Mental Game

The PGA Tour is back! So far this year no one with the lead on Sunday morning has won. We saw Kyle Stanley make a triple bogie on the 72ndto tie, lose in a playoff and win the next week. Phil routed Tiger at Pebble Beach. At the Northern Trust Open Bill Haas posted -7 with Phil and Keegan Bradley on 18 at -6. Kostis asked Haas what his mindset was, Haas replied “I expect them both to make birdie 18 and we will go to a playoff.” Phil makes a bomb and Keegan pours it in on top of him for some great 72nd hole heroics. Because Bill Haas was mentally prepared for them to make those putts he prevailed in the playoff.

I’d like to start my instructional column on how you think and give you a couple of ways to create confidence. First you need to allow yourself to be great. I watch so many high handicap players hit a shot that’s a little off and complain. Its important to find something good about your shots, if you hit a bad shot visualize the shot you wanted to hit and get on with your round. Do not associate a negative feeling with any shot! You are in charge of creating your own confidence so create it. Repeat after me “I am a great putter!” “I can hit this shot!” “I am the best chipper of the ball in the world!” believe it, why not.

Here’s an exercise to help create confidence. Get a $1 note pad that fits in your golf bag. After every round write down the 5 best shots you hit in as much detail as possible. It’ll look like this; #3 at UMD I hit rescue at the tall pine tree by the green and the ball never left the tree. The Taylor Made Penta #1 went 24 yards like a bullet. It was sunny, 65 degrees, Friday at 12:20 and I was with Mark, Dan and Jeff.

You don’t have to be good to be confident, confidence is in your own head, create it!

Chris Oleson, PGA teaches at UMD and Paint Branch GC. He is TPI, K-vest and putting zone certified, can be reached at golfclubmd@gmail.com