A Quick 9: Adam ScottTitleist ambassador Adam Scott returns to Los Angeles this week to defend his title at the Nissan Open. Last year, the 25-year-old Australian continued his routine of playing, and winning, tournaments across the globe. In addition to winning the Nissan Open on the PGA TOUR, he also won the Singapore Open on the Asian Tour and the tri-sanctioned Johnnie Walker Classic, which helped him top the PGA Tour of Australasia Order of Merit for the first time in his career. Find out how he stays motivated and consistent during such a long, hectic season, and more, in this edition of a Quick 9...
1. How important is it to have confidence in your golf ball and golf equipment?
AS: You need to be on the course playing with equipment that you can trust, otherwise you're probably beaten before you even get to the first tee. I know exactly what every club in my bag can do, I can rely on them. Then it's just up to me to put a good swing on it. I know I have the right set up for me. We've spent hours testing and bending, getting the right angles of the golf club so now I know, through the expert advice I get from the Titleist staff, that I've got the right equipment for me and am giving myself the best chance when I walk out there. (To see what's in Adam's bag, click here).
2 How would you describe your experience at the Titleist Performance Institute?
AS: I get a lot of information every time I go out there. I get statistics and information about my shoulder turn, hip turn and release. Match them all up and it's just really interesting. I think, if a player can just find one thing there - it might be something with the set-up, the body angle - things that you can't see with the eye but you can see through all the technology they use, it's valuable stuff. It's certainly eye-opening to see how your body works during a golf swing. It's something you never really think about but you get such a great sense of how your body is working in the swing and maybe what areas are lagging behind.
3. What do you do to try and maintain consistency in every round?
AS: I've worked hard on my swing over the past year or two and it has certainly gotten a lot more consistent and I've also played a lot more consistent. But it really comes down to the short game. If you can chip and putt to make a score, you're going to be around each week. To me, chipping and putting is most of the game, that's where you save most of your shots. You're going to play great some days, but you're also going to play poorly and those are the days you have to make a score to stay in the tournament.
4. You play a worldwide schedule. How do you stay motivated about what you do?
AS: It's not very hard for me to stay motivated. Unless I'm winning every tournament, then I don't think I'll ever lose my motivation. That's what I'm striving for and the passion is there even when the play is not good. It's frustrating for me to play poorly and all I want to do is play better, make putts and win tournaments. Even though I'm not a very emotional guy, there is certainly some passion there. I'm mad when I'm not playing well and I want to succeed. I have the motivation, it carries me on.
5. You have had great success across virtually every Tour. How would you describe being "in the zone?"
AS: It's definitely not something that happens all that often. I'd love to know how to get that feeling all the time. It's more about staying in the moment, that's what I consider being "in the zone." I was certainly "in the zone" at TPC (2004 PLAYERS Championship), especially playing that last hole. The good thing for me was I didn't fall out of the moment after I hit it in the water. I just kept my head down and thought about the chip and putt. I didn't think about anything else but chipping and putting. There have been a couple of other times, too. I remember in Boston at the Deutsche Bank Championship - not the year I won (2003), but the year after - I was defending and played probably the best nine holes of golf I've ever played on the back nine. Everything just flows. It's hard to think back on it and remember "what was I doing to play so well and to be in the zone." I think it just happens. You get to a certain comfort level and then you just go.
6. How important is working out to staying competitive on the PGA TOUR and what type of pre-round workout routine do you have?
AS: It's becoming a lot more important. A lot more guys are working out and staying in shape, so to be competitive with these guys, you have to at least keep pace, not only for competitive purposes but also for longevity in your career. You see so many guys now getting to the end of their career with back injuries. I've got an opportunity to play for hopefully 25 years, so I want to do that without injury. A lot of the excercises I focus on in the gym are for injury prevention. Before a round, I'm really just concentrating on warming up. I'll do maybe 5-10 minutes on the bike to get the blood flowing and the heart rate up a bit. I then have a stretching routine that lasts for about 20 minutes and then I should be good to go.
7. How important is nutrition and hydration while you're out on the course?
AS: It's very important. You need to be out there with something to snack on, whether it's an energy bar or a piece of fruit. Hydration is equally important - I drink plenty of water and then try to sip on a Gatorade throughout the round which keeps your electrolytes up.
8. You play in alot of pro-ams, what's the number one swing fault you see in amateurs and what advice would you give them to correct it?
AS: Well, we definitely see a lot of faults in the pro-ams, but the biggest and most common one is staying on the left side and then coming way over the top of the ball and hitting a big slice. It's not too difficult to correct, you really just need to get people to shift their weight better. Just by getting back on your right side then moving through to the left side gets the club on a better path. That's kind of an easy fix without doing too much.
9. Is there one swing tip that you've received that's stuck with you?
AS: I've had a lot of swing tips but a simple one is "when it's breezy, swing easy." It works pretty well. When it gets windy you need to keep your rythym and the ball stays a bit lower when you smooth one out there.
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