Its no secret that Chip Lutz is the best senior amateur in the world, lets just review his most recent record in the majors- 2015 USGA Senior amateur champion, 2016 British Senior amateur champion, 2016 USGA Senior Open – only amateur to make the cut in the Open, an had one of two rounds under par in the afternoon wave on Friday.
Ok we have established that he is good, but how has he gone from a long putter that was anchored in 2015, back to a regular putter using the claw grip? I think if you were to ask Chip, he would say that he was still pretty good with the short putter when he switched to the long putter, and believed that he could make the switch back and still compete at the highest level. I witnesses his playoff at Fornby the site of the 2016 Senior Amateur in England. He has a 25 foot putt for birdie on the first playoff hole that he rammed into to the cup for his third title in that event. Many would have three putted in that situation, and wanted to quite the game.
If you cannot putt, you are NOT going to win anything significant. The pressure increases as the importance of the event escalates. Click on this article and read about the NCGA Senior 4 Ball that I just competed in with Mr. Lutz as my partner.
As you can probably imagine, I did not have a tremendous amount of pressure on me, because I had a partner that was hardly ever out of position, or out of a hole. When you play in a best ball with a partner that leaves you alone all the time, honestly its stressful, and can provide more pressure than if you were playing in an individual event.
Why is Chip so good? Because he drives it straight and long, he hits his irons straight with good distance control, he chips like a demon, and putts better than average. The unfortunate thing about all of that, is some of it is technique (like his great chipping technique) but the other is god given talent, flexibility, and the ability to play his best under the most pressure.
When I play casual golf with Chip, I’d say I outplay him for the most part. But when the GUN goes off, this talented 61 year old can play like any pro i’ve played with in my career. So then how can I beat a guy like Chip in a big event like the USGA Senior Am? Well its simple, I will need to have a VERY clean and flawless round of golf, and not let the pressure of who I am playing affect me with additional pressure and poor shot decisions. THAT’S WHAT HAPPENS, everyone changes their game plan to try to play up to the level of the super-star they have to beat. You must keep to YOUR game plan, and play your game, like in boxing with body punches.
On another note, this years San Francisco City Championship was a huge success, and moved back to its original home TPC Harding Park. Thanks to all of you that made generous donations to bring this historic event back to Harding.
I will be posting this weekend on my journey and experience in Utopia Texas, for the Links of Utopia retreat with Dr. Cook. Should be VERY interesting!!
STAY TUNED AND TELL A FRIEND!!