by Jeff Skinner
Justin Rose hasn’t had the greatest of seasons so far this year. After his two win 2010 campaign it is safe to say he expected more than one top ten at this point. Things may change this week. He’s on the verge of his third PGA Tour win and he is doing it by doing less.
He wasn’t thrilled with his swing after a tie for forty second at the Cadillac Championship and spent some time with his very busy swing coach, Sean Foley. He made some slight physical swing changes but it’s his mental changes that changed his game. Justin has subscribed to the KISS method: Keep It Simple Stupid. Yes, it works here too.
Rose said he was bothered by too many swing thoughts to effectively relax and make consistent swings. How many times do we stand over a ball and our mind is racing with a hundred thoughts. Once that happens you may as well hand over that skin because your game is done. Rose was doing that very thing. The less cluttered the mind the better the swing, it’s simple. “I’d been tinkering around with too many swing keys,” Rose said. “My goal for the next couple of weeks was to whittle it down to something very simple heading into Augusta. And that I think that should still be my goal really, the next couple of weeks just to really every day drop a thought, drop something, so you can go into that tournament as free and relaxed as possible.”
The time for thinking is on the practice range not on the course. Rose has worked on keeping his head clear at address and it has paid off as he has a one stroke lead going into the final round of the Transitions Championship. He also has a reservoir of confidence to pull from after last year’s victories and that’s very important. “I’ve got better experiences to draw upon tomorrow. I think I found a way of thinking that helped me out there, and I know the pitfalls of playing under pressure and playing in contention.”
So far this week the changes are paying major dividends as he leads the field in greens in regulation and is second in driving accuracy. He also switched back to his old Scotty Cameron putter and if that warms up at all it they can start engraving his name on that trophy very shortly. A little confidence and even less thinking can go a long way.