It's official. There is a Youth Movement in golf and it is being lead by Rory McIrloy. In the past 5 majors, the 5 different winners were all 30 years old or younger! (Actually, McDowell was 30, the rest are all in their 20s!) Rory is the youngest at 22 years old, and he is going to stay on top because of the experience he has gained playing in the past few majors (most notably at Augusta when he lost his Sunday lead), the mechanics he uses in his swing and the mental strength he has exhibited during this week's US Open.
Rory came out fighting Sunday, not protecting his lead but increasing it. How was this different from the collapse at the Masters in April? It was all his perspective.
"What I did today, I tried to set myself a little target, little goals, just because it kept me from focusing on the leader board and focusing on how far ahead I was or anything like that," McIlroy explained. "... That really kept me in the present."
Mental Strength in golf is simply staying present. As Rory described, setting the little goals that keep you focused on the shot at hand is the best way to keep you moving in the right direction in your round. Here's how you can do it, too:
Before every swing, describe to yourself everything you can about the shot you are about to attempt. Find out:
The Mechanics in Rory's swing are perfection. Statistically, he lead all players in Greens In Regulation for the US Open with 86% (62 of 72!). That is 20% higher than last year's Open at Pebble beach. Phil Mickelson's caddy, Jim "Bones" MacKay said after seeing McIlroy's game up close for the first two rounds of the US Open, he had never seen a better two rounds of golf played, EVER. Here are a few keys to emulate in your swing:
Remember this US Open and the perfection we witnessed. I think it will be the first of many trophies raised by Rory McIlroy.
Joe Plecker is the PGA Director of Instruction at Baltimore Country Club. To learn more about Joe, click here.
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