Matt Every: High-Risk Incubator

A funny “think” happened to Matt Every in the Valero Texas Open at the TPC San Antonio in San Antonio, Texas: he stopped thinking about his swing and shot a course record, 9-under, 63. The 7,522-yard, Greg Norman-design was supposed to be the hardest course on the PGA Tour. Apparently not for one guy.

Every birdied every other hole on the front and the first three and last two on the back…and not one blemish on his card. There was a sort of pleasing symmetry to the hopscotch and then the two clusters.

All of this came about because he realized that what he was doing wasn’t quite working. Like many people, he was inspired by Bubba Watson’s “I-gotta-be-me” approach to the game. And so he tried it for himself.

I don’t really think about scores like – lately I’ve been trying to do as little as possible with everything involved with golf.  Like if I’m hitting bad on the range, I won’t even work it out.  I’ll just quit hitting balls and go home.  It’s been working.  It has.

It’s almost like I’m playing better golf because I’m thinking more on the golf course.  Instead of thinking about my swing, I’m thinking about the shot instead of my swing and how to execute the shot [my emphasis].

So, I’ve just been trying to go by that and it’s been working out and as far as like the score on this course, I mean really, today was all about putting for me.  I made everything.  Not everything but a lot.

But the media wasn’t quite sure about all of this.

Q.  You really now have days if you’re not swinging well you…

I did it yesterday. I came out here and hit it like – hit about 15 balls and it wasn’t good.  So I went and hit some putts.

And I was actually walking by the range and I saw the same guys every week, they tinker with their swings and spend all day Tuesday and Wednesday practicing and like I’m glad I’m not one of those guys. [What’s the latest cultural quip, “Don’t be that guy?”]

So I’m sticking to that.  You know, just when I get on the course, I’m more concentrating about playing golf than my golf swing.

You know what I’m saying?  That’s – I’m not that kind person.  I’m kind of a whatever, however it comes, it comes.  I’m not a robot, you know.

Q.  Did someone give you that advice or just throw up your hands?

I did.

Q.  How long ago was that you adopted that first?

I fired my teacher a week before Hilton Head and I adopted it.

Q.  It’s been within last two weeks?

Yeah.

Q.  Has anyone given you advice to the contrary?  What are you doing?

I haven’t really told anybody.

This seems to be a rising trend and follows what Bubba Watson has been doing all along. It will be interesting to see if Every can go “cold turkey” with his coach, or whether he might still see some value in having another pair of eyes check in once in a while.

Right now he’s riding high on his new-found freedom from swing thoughts. And he may be schooled enough in his swing mechanics that he can, indeed, just trust it and play a shot at the target.

But golf is a cyclical game: it comes and goes. What does he do the next time it goes and he can’t easily find his way back?

We won’t know until it happens, but for now, I think it’s great that he’s trying.

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