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bubba watson
stroke play
tense atmosphere
clear conscience
watching the game
sand wedge
playing the game
Learn From Nick Faldos Commentating
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I have just this minute finished watching the New Orléans Farmers where Web Simpson was honest enough to point out that his ball had moved as he was about to putt. The result was a penalty stroke that cost him the tournament with Bubba Watson going on to win in the play-off. I thought Nick Faldo's commentating on the incident was superb.

This is what Nick had to say: "There it is folks - the very best and the very worst of golf!"

I think what Nick Faldo was saying was that the it was a magnificent display of sportsmanship on Simpson's part but that sadly (the worst part) is that it could cost him the tournament which is exactly what happened.

But there were other very positive and pertinent statement statements made by Nick. The one that stuck in my mind is that Web Simpson could continue to play the rest of the round with a clear conscience. i thought that interesting.

I wonder how many player's break rules which they believe to be a bit harsh and simply play on without penalizing themselves. I was playing recently and my opponent was in deep rough. He tried to hack it out with a mid iron and only managed to get deeper into the rough. I was standing next to him and had my sand wedge in my hand - our bags were some distance away. He asked me if he could borrow my sand wedge (obviously to save time fetching his from his bag). This incurs a 2 shot penalty in stroke play and I naturally refused. The rest of the round was completed in a rather tense atmosphere. He felt that I had done something wrong.

But back to Nick Faldo's commentating.

I think he is one of the best there has been and we could learn a lot about playing the game from Nick Faldo's commentating.

Having been the world number one himself for a number of years Nick certainly knows what he is talking about. He is an avid student of the game - something which, at times, made him a bit of a dour player, but I think as a commentator he has added tremendously to the enjoyment of watching the game.

How can you learn to play the game from Faldo's commentating?

Pay close attention to what he says when he comments - there are lots of gems in there.

For example he mentioned that Web Simpson had bounced his sand wedge when playing a chip shot - and this before the ball had even left the blade! Nick said you can hear when a shot has been played badly or perfectly, and how right he is. On the very same hole he mentioned that Bubba Watson hit a great bunker shot which you could tell just from the sound of the club striking the sand.

Another point Faldo made when commentating was with reference to someone else (I think it was Luke Donald) earlier in the week when he said "the ball stays on the club face for so long."

I refer to this as "the shot feeling like butter" as it comes off the club face.

I probably heard that from Nick!

If you have ever struck a ball absolutely perfectly you will know the feeling of the club driving into and compressing the ball before it takes off. It feels like the ball is stuck to the club-face for a second but in reality it takes off at an awesome rate.

Nick Faldo was an outstanding professional - and still is.

What made him so special?

As a student of the game, and with a burning desire to be his best, Faldo broke the golf swing down into tiny parts and spent hours perfecting his golf. He was single mindedly focused and he brings this same dedication to commentating. Its as if he knows every player's strengths and weaknesses.

To many Pros the first win is always the hardest and for that reason I feel really sorry for Web Simpson - but hopefully his time is not too far away. He certainly deserves it after today's showing and sportsmanship.

Next time you watch a tournament on TV take the time to learn from Nick Faldo's commentating. He has a lot of knowledge and gives some awesome tips on the game of golf - not just the golf swing.

Street Talk

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