Guess who played in their first tournament together in over 13 years this past weekend???
Yup – Myself (Tim) and Todd played in a best ball tournament at our home course (Oak Tree National) in Edmond, OK.
It was the 2020 Oak Tree National Member’s Best Ball Tournament.
First – a little back ground about Oak Tree National…
It has been / is rated as a top 25 hardest course in the US.
There are currently 18 touring professionals who call the course their home course (including Viktor Hovland, Matthew Wolff and others..)
It is a TRUE test of golf. There literally is NOT an easy shot on the golf course. Every shot is a test of your golf game…
What a great course to play your first tournament in over 13 years (Todd…)
Todd and I thought it would be fun to “break the ice” in a fun weekend tournament at our home course – see what the brothers could do against some good players.
Couple of facts and then some fun observations I witnessed that will help all the single plane golfers reading this.
Fact #1 – I (Tim) have played close to 250 tournaments since Todd’s last played in a tournament. Yup… 250
And there is DEFINITELY a rhythm to playing in tournaments.
I witnessed Todd trying to find his rhythm again.
Not rhythm in his golf swing (it was great… see below) – but more about his rhythm surrounding the event.
When to arrive before the event, how to warm up, what order to warm up, how early to arrive to the first tee, how to mark your golf balls for tournament play, etc… etc..
The ONLY way to regain your rhythm – YOU MUST PLAY IN EVENTS. You will develop your own “rhythm” – and comfort zone, this can not be done unless you put yourself in tournament settings.
Funny Story #1 – On our 27th hole (9th hole of day 2) – Todd hit a 2nd shot on the fringe of the green. Was a good 2nd shot, but came to rest in a sprinkler head on the edge of the green.
Todd needed to take a drop off the sprinkler head…
He looked at me and asked “How do I drop the ball… I haven’t taken a “tournament drop” in 13 years and the way you drop the ball has changed at least 3 times in just the last 5 years….” I proceeded to give Todd a quick lesson on a legal drop…. and a quick laugh…
Fact #2 – I (Tim) have played at least 250 tournaments in the past 13 years. You figure each tournament averages 2 rounds (some single round, some up to 4 rounds) and most of the tournaments I play in threesomes… That comes down to close to 1,500 different golfers I have played with… (some more than once – so let’s say over 1,000) different golfers I have played with – and all are good (some great) golfers. A majority of these golfers are PGA professionals.
I will tell you WITHOUT A DOUBT – there is no better driver of the golf ball than Todd… it’s not even close… listen to me VERY carefully – and there are many of the professionals listed above who are reading this article – NONE get close to driving the ball as accurate as Todd. – NOT EVEN CLOSE.
It is a treat to be able to follow him on the tee (we partnered in the best ball format) and we are playing one of the MOST difficult driving courses in golf – all of golf – and I know 99% of the time he is going to pipe it down the middle…. is he the longest – we are too old for that now… we were playing 20 somethings and holding our own against them, but the ability to hit EVERY fairway is AMAZING.
Yes, we perform demonstrations for our students and customers all the time – so it is nothing new to see us hit our drivers… but when the “heat is on in a tournament” – it is something completely different. The ability to hit consistently perfect straight drivers with perfect trajectory in a tournament on one of the most difficult courses in golf… impressive to say the least. I have missed witnessing this over the past few years (13…)
This is the TRUE testament to the single plane swing! Put the longest club in your hand under heat on an incredibly hard driving course and pipe it every time….
Funny Story #2 – On our 35th hole (#17 2nd day) we stepped on the tee leading by two.
#17 is a 210 yard Par 3 – all carry over water to 1/2 island green. The pin was 10 yards on the green with a high lipped bunker around the entire front of the green. (See below)
Todd hit a 5 iron at the pin and it plugged in the bunker lip short of the green. Was a good shot, came up about 2 feet short.
He took a drop (with more coaching from his brother) and then had to hit a chip with the ball about shoulder level with him standing in the bunker.
He looked at me and said “If I touch the grass behind my ball, it is going to roll back in the bunker… what do I do..?”
My answer… “Don’t touch the grass!” (brotherly love at it’s finest..)
I looked at our playing competitors and they were laughing (a lot..)
He got up and down from that lie… pretty amazing shot.
Fact #3 –
“You drive for show and no doubt about it – you putt for dough.”
When it ultimately comes down to it… the order of playing good golf comes down to:
- Your Putter
- Your Driver
- Your Chipping / Pitching / Short game
- Rest of Your Bag..
In that order. And every time you tee it up for something that puts a little pressure on your game – this order becomes more and more and more relevant.
We ended up winning the event by 2 shots.
We made a couple nice putts coming down the stretch to seal the win.
But more importantly – we had an absolute blast.
A few minutes after we finished and accepted our hardware – Todd looked at me and asked when was our next event…
He’s got the itch again….
watch out everyone…
the Graves’ Bros are back!