UN­DER­COVER TOUR PRO

Bad ad­vice and med­dling on the range

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Contents - - WITH MAX ADLER

Bad ad­vice and med­dling on the range. With Max Adler.

The other day a friend asked, “What’s the worst ad­vice you’ve ever re­ceived?” The ques­tion re­ally stumped me.

Ev­ery week I get un­so­licited ad­vice out here. Peo­ple I don’t know have come up to me at the prac­tice green to make a com­ment about my stance. I’ve lis­tened to cad­dies for other play­ers openly de­bate my align­ment. On the PGA Tour, it’s tough to prac­tice on a Tues­day be­cause ev­ery­body and his brother wants to help you.

I’ve won once out here. It took me years. A lot of peo­ple say they’re sur­prised I haven’t won more, but maybe they’re just my friends. It doesn’t mat­ter how many cuts in a row I’ve missed. If I don’t seek your ad­vice, then I don’t want it. Some­times I’ll even move to the far end of the range to send the mes­sage. Not that it works. In all se­ri­ous­ness, I wish the tour would cut back ac­cess to the range.

To be fair, a lot of the equip­ment reps out here played pro­fes­sion­ally at some level, and so they’re some­what quali ed to an­a­lyse a golf swing. I know they’re gen­uinely try­ing to help, so when a rep ips his cre­den­tial o his belly and starts pan­tomim­ing swing po­si­tions, ex­pect­ing me to pay at­ten­tion, I try not to be rude. I stand there for a bit.

As for teach­ers, I get that they’re try­ing to find work. Most are very cour­te­ous. They won’t break down your swing right then and there. They’ll kiss your butt a lit­tle be­fore giv­ing you their phone num­ber and say­ing, “Hey, I think I could re­ally help you out.”

Psy­chol­o­gists are the big­gest joke out here. If I see a player with a psy­chol­o­gist, I au­to­mat­i­cally think that player is weak­minded. The shrinks are full of it, but they don’t bother any­one. They let play­ers pur­sue them. Any good teacher knows just as much as a psy­chol­o­gist. Butch Har­mon tells his stu­dents they should beat the best, and they all be­lieve it.

Phys­i­cal train­ers are the most ag­gres­sive, with­out a doubt. A few have been known to re­ally chase play­ers. It seems like the magic num­ber for these guys is ve. If a trainer can get work with ve play­ers, two or three will prob­a­bly be in the eld at any given tour­na­ment, and that’s enough to jus­tify the ho­tel and air­fare.

All the staffers in the PGA Tour fit­ness trailer are certi ed, but now and again we’ll get ran­dom mus­cle­heads hang­ing around, crow­ing they know the se­cret. I had a buddy whose new trainer put him through a re­ally stren­u­ous work­out on a Wed­nes­day, and he was so sore the next morn­ing he had to with­draw from the tour­na­ment. I’ve also seen these in­de­pen­dent train­ers hang around our fit­ness trailer to see how the sta is treat­ing us, and then just copy the reg­i­mens.

Don’t get me wrong – most train­ers are great. My guy at home is also my nu­tri­tion­ist. He’s en­cour­aged me to gro­cery shop on the road. The meals we get each week at the club­house and var­i­ous spon­sor din­ners are tasty, and it’s hard turn­ing down free and easy, but restau­rant cui­sine does tend to push rich and mem­o­rable. This sea­son, I’ve eaten sim­pler, and I’ve de nitely no­ticed a di er­ence in my en­ergy level, par­tic­u­larly at the end of play­ing sev­eral weeks in a row.

Most of my tness rou­tine is stretch­ing, but I also do some weights. Got to keep up with the young bucks, or at least be long enough to con­tend on the shorter cour­ses.

I think it’s funny how the golfers who are in­jured the most are usu­ally the young, good-look­ing ones. Maybe they should lis­ten to Steve Pate, who once told me, “You can’t pull fat, you can only pull mus­cle.”

Not enough peo­ple ap­pre­ci­ate Vi­jay Singh. He was the rst golfer to gure out that if you were highly abra­sive, you could re­claim the range as your of­fice. Swing coaches, cad­dies, train­ers, reps – pretty much ev­ery­one stopped ap­proach­ing Vi­jay be­cause they knew they were go­ing to get told to go f--- them­selves.

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