A Lesson Learned: J.B. Holmes and the FBR Open

Ted Fort, PGA

Problem Area: Fundamentals
Series: Lesson Learned

Published: Thursday, November 11, 2010 | 1:36 p.m.

For all of the fair weather golf fans that changed the channel when J.B. Holmes found the hazard on 15, you missed a great finish in the FBR Open.

It's my understanding that there was some other sporting event going on in Arizona this Sunday, whatever that may have been. And, it looked as though the crowds thinned after Holmes lost the lead. But, pure determination lead him to victory, and his game management skills can be A Lesson Learned for golfers of any level.

J.B. Holmes celebrates a victory the came in large part because of his ability to manage his game as much as overpower the course. (Getty images) There are many things that make J.B. Holmes a champion. The ability to launch 350 yard drives and making clutch putts of 10 feet or more could rank among his strengths. But, his ability to manage his game in the time of uncertainty secured the victory. He said,"I didn't have my best stuff today, and I came through and won. I didn't give up. I played hard, and when I needed to make it, I did."

Anyone that's ever played the game of golf understands that there are times that the swing falters. Even at the elite level of the PGA Tour, golf remains a game of managing your mistakes. In a stretch of four holes, Holmes carded three bogeys and saw his lead evaporate.

On no. 13, a par five, Holmes could have pressured himself to trying something miraculous, after hitting a wayward drive. If he had been focused on the three bogeys that he had just made, he might have felt as though he needed to make something special happen. Instead of trying to hit the 3 wood off the desert, which would have lead us mortals to a fine triple bogey, he chose to lay up. He played one shot at a time, and carded a much needed birdie from the fairway. The same man that's capable of hitting 350 yard drives chose to lay up.

Contrast this to what I constantly see, weekend warriors that wouldn't be able to hit a 350 yard drive across a frozen lake that consistently choose to "go for it." In the times of great ball striking, take some reasonable risks. But, in the times of struggle, manage your misses. Find a way to make no worse than a bogey and realize your scoring potential. Never dwell on the past. The most important shot that you'll ever hit is your next one.

Try this ...