Olin Browne: On playing on the fly

Olin Browne had a good first round in the Charles Schwab Cup. He managed to post an early 4-under 66 at the Desert Mountain Club in Scottsdale, Arizona, good enough to warrant a trip into the media center.

Browne’s is a name we’ve known for a long time. His PGA Tour career began in 1992, winning three times. He moved on to the Champions Tour in 2009, winning twice including once this year and, most impressive, the 2011 U.S. Senior Open. So he knows more than a little bit about what it takes to keep a round going when a round isn’t going like you’d want it to.

He said that he didn’t start out all that great and I wanted to understand how he turned that into a 66.  

Q. You said you didn’t feel that great starting out this morning. Can you say a little bit about that?

OLIN BROWNE: Well, it’s the end of the year, we’ve been traveling coast to coast the last few weeks, we’re at a little bit of elevation here and I practiced hard on Monday, hit a lot of balls, hit a lot of bunker shots. I was here the entire day, got in late Sunday night, so maybe just a little bit of fatigue. And then playing in that weather yesterday takes a lot out of you too, that was crummy.

Q. Especially six hours?

OLIN BROWNE: Yeah, the back nine took a little longer than it needed to but that’s just the way that works.

Q. So it’s more about your fatigue than it was about your swing?

OLIN BROWNE: Yeah, you know, I love my coffee in the morning but my coffee doesn’t love me on the golf course, so tournament days I try not to drink it. So maybe I’m just a little sluggish because of that and just takes me a little while to get going.

Q. So how do you deal with that?

OLIN BROWNE: Well, it’s just part of the deal, you know? Do the best that you can and try and be patient. The thing about golf is that what gets you in trouble, most of the guys have an understanding of what their swing does and what they do with the rest of their games. Usually when we get into trouble it’s because we lose our patience. Of course there are days when you can’t figure out what you’re doing right or wrong. There are days when you come out, man, I played so great today, I’m never going to play badly again, right? And then the next day you show up and go, what was I doing yesterday, I don’t know. So some days you just take longer to get going than others.

Q. For guys like you, you don’t spend a lot of time trying to fix your swing in the middle of a round; bad shots are an aberration?

OLIN BROWNE: Well, the thing about golf is it’s cause and effect. If you hit a certain kind of a flight or a certain kind of an impact, you know what it is that needs to be done. Sometimes you’re able to fix that on the fly and sometimes you’ve got to wait until the end of the round. I would say most guys are able to — look, we’re managing our games the best we can. Doesn’t anybody ever feel the best that he can feel that the strike is perfect every time he plays. I think it was Ben Hogan who said if you hit three shots exactly the way he wanted to, then he had played a really great round of golf?

Q. I think Norman said that, too.

OLIN BROWNE: And it’s true to some extent because what you’re trying to do — look, everybody hits great shots out here; it’s the guy who doesn’t hit the horrendous one is the guy who ends up being in better shape than everyone else. It’s management of your game and it’s also pulling the right club at the right time or executing the right shot at the right time. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should, you know what I mean?

Q. So when you start to lose your patience, how do you get it back?

OLIN BROWNE: That’s an interesting question. I’m getting better at it as I get older, I guess, because you recognize it doesn’t matter, that one shot isn’t going to ruin your day. And if you let it ruin your day, it could really compound and become a miserable event. So takes you 35 years to grow up, I guess. I don’t know.

Q. So when you find yourself trying to regain your patience and you can’t —

OLIN BROWNE: Then you just try and get through the day so you can get to the range so that you don’t have to suffer that indignity the next day.

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