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RDD Q&A on Everything Golf


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GolfWRX members,

 

We're pretty lucky to have Robert Damron on GolfWRX and he has kindly agreed to answer any of our questions related to tour life and other golf topics (i.e. insights, playing advice, etc).

 

RDD - serious thanks for doing this! By the way, also love Morning Drive. I have it on every morning. Keep doing what you guys and gals are doing.

 

I'll start:

 

1) Junior Golf - what advice would you have for parents with kids who have taken up the game? And at what point/age do you recommend getting them involved with a swing coach?

 

2) How did you handle the pressure of hitting the first tee shot at a tournament? What was your process to mentally prepare for a tournament vs major?

 

3) What impact did AP have on your from Junior golf to the Tour?

 

4) In what order and % do you recommend players work on their game (short game, irons, driver, course management, etc)?

 

5) What's your favorite set of clubs and why?

 

Serious thanks again and I hope you don't get too exhausted answering the onslot of questions!

 

Guys/gals - Please keep this thread clean. If you want to discuss RDD/JT, there's already a thread for that or you an PM direct.

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Thanks! I'll do my best

1)Best advice is to let them have fun. Let them develop hand eye coordination first. Don't really give many tips until they never whiff shots anymore or ask for them.

My Dad bought me a bike (I was around 9) when I hit a green 10 times in a row from about 70 yards. That kept me practicing for a while!

I'd avoid any coaches until much later. Stick to fundamentals.

2)I never really got first tee jitters, but I did always think about how embarrassed I would be if I topped the first tee shot. Weird. Also, I didn't vary preparation much for any tournament. I just figured that I'm a pretty good golfer so if I do my job well I could handle any course.

3)AP was a fixture in my life from the time I was around 8 or 9. When I was on tour, he made a few calls and got me exemptions into a few events that I wasn't going to be in. Mostly, despite the age gap, he was a friend. I spent hundreds of hours with him at Bay Hill, and I wish I had more.

4)You'll never be too good with your wedges. Practice your yardages as much as you can. If you trust your wedge game you'll also be less likely to go for dumb shots that'll result in doubles or triples. That being said, the driver is easily the most important club in your bag. Drive it well and you're on offense, drive it bad and you're on defense.

5)I have used my Taylor Made MC irons for about 7 years now, and I like them a lot. I think the best irons I ever hit though were the callaway x-12's (I think it was '03 when I used them). Really solid.

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Close friends and family always come first in life.

 

Why do you think that Justin Thomas, who's going to a wedding of one of his good friends, that was scheduled many months before Arnold Palmer's passing, should shun his friend to participate in the tournament at Bay Hill instead? I'm having a very hard time coming up with logical reasoning for your stance on this.

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Close friends and family always come first in life.

 

Why do you think that Justin Thomas, who's going to a wedding of one of his good friends, that was scheduled many months before Arnold Palmer's passing, should shun his friend to participate in the tournament at Bay Hill instead? I'm having a very hard time coming up with logical reasoning for your stance on this.

 

Seriously, there's already a thread dedicated to the JT issue. Please post there or PM RDD directly. This thread is not about that.

 

 

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Close friends and family always come first in life.

 

Why do you think that Justin Thomas, who's going to a wedding of one of his good friends, that was scheduled many months before Arnold Palmer's passing, should shun his friend to participate in the tournament at Bay Hill instead? I'm having a very hard time coming up with logical reasoning for your stance on this.

 

Seriously, there's already a thread dedicated to the JT issue. Please post there or PM RDD directly. This thread is not about that.

 

"We're pretty lucky to have Robert Damron on GolfWRX and he has kindly agreed to answer any of our questions related to tour life and other golf topics (i.e. insights, playing advice, etc)."

 

This fits in the realm of "golf topics." Not seeing an issue.

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Close friends and family always come first in life.

 

Why do you think that Justin Thomas, who's going to a wedding of one of his good friends, that was scheduled many months before Arnold Palmer's passing, should shun his friend to participate in the tournament at Bay Hill instead? I'm having a very hard time coming up with logical reasoning for your stance on this.

You're right. Close friends and family are the most important thing in your life next to good health.

That being said, only 10 of 25 players are coming to this year's API. Very few top players went to his funeral. That is awfully disrespectful to his legacy and his family.

I am fine with JT going to the wedding, but hopefully he makes a personal call to Mr Palmer's family to explain.

When I sent the original tweet, I was a sitting at Mr Palmer's old table in the Bay Hill locker room and had a couple beers in me. I wouldn't do it if I had it to do over.

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Close friends and family always come first in life.

 

Why do you think that Justin Thomas, who's going to a wedding of one of his good friends, that was scheduled many months before Arnold Palmer's passing, should shun his friend to participate in the tournament at Bay Hill instead? I'm having a very hard time coming up with logical reasoning for your stance on this.

You're right. Close friends and family are the most important thing in your life next to good health.

That being said, only 10 of 25 players are coming to this year's API. Very few top players went to his funeral. That is awfully disrespectful to his legacy and his family.

I am fine with JT going to the wedding, but hopefully he makes a personal call to Mr Palmer's family to explain.

When I sent the original tweet, I was a sitting at Mr Palmer's old table in the Bay Hill locker room and had a couple beers in me. I wouldn't do it if I had it to do over.

 

Thank you for taking the time to answer and not side skirting it. Shows me a good deal of character. It seems like you had a knee jerk reaction fueled with emotion and we've all been guilty of that many times in our lives. As far as JT goes, hopefully he paid respects to Arnold and his legacy, and if he hasn't, he will.

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Thanks! I'll do my best

1)Best advice is to let them have fun. Let them develop hand eye coordination first. Don't really give many tips until they never whiff shots anymore or ask for them.

My Dad bought me a bike (I was around 9) when I hit a green 10 times in a row from about 70 yards. That kept me practicing for a while!

I'd avoid any coaches until much later. Stick to fundamentals.

2)I never really got first tee jitters, but I did always think about how embarrassed I would be if I topped the first tee shot. Weird. Also, I didn't vary preparation much for any tournament. I just figured that I'm a pretty good golfer so if I do my job well I could handle any course.

3)AP was a fixture in my life from the time I was around 8 or 9. When I was on tour, he made a few calls and got me exemptions into a few events that I wasn't going to be in. Mostly, despite the age gap, he was a friend. I spent hundreds of hours with him at Bay Hill, and I wish I had more.

4)You'll never be too good with your wedges. Practice your yardages as much as you can. If you trust your wedge game you'll also be less likely to go for dumb shots that'll result in doubles or triples. That being said, the driver is easily the most important club in your bag. Drive it well and you're on offense, drive it bad and you're on defense.

5)I have used my Taylor Made MC irons for about 7 years now, and I like them a lot. I think the best irons I ever hit though were the callaway x-12's (I think it was '03 when I used them). Really solid.

 

Awesome insights. I really appreciate you taking the time to answer them. One of my biggest gripes is the parent at the range pounding terrible knowledge into their kids head. Keeping it fun is key and one day I'll pass on your story about getting a bike if they hit the green ten times in a row.

 

Any chance the golf channel would start covering and broadcasting some of the top junior events in the country, or put a few highlights on Morning Drive Drive beyond a putt? Similar to what espn does with High School basketball and football? There was a segment recently with Annika and the winner of her Junior tourney hitting balls on the screen while talking about her game. My kid ate it up!

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Close friends and family always come first in life.

 

Why do you think that Justin Thomas, who's going to a wedding of one of his good friends, that was scheduled many months before Arnold Palmer's passing, should shun his friend to participate in the tournament at Bay Hill instead? I'm having a very hard time coming up with logical reasoning for your stance on this.

 

Seriously, there's already a thread dedicated to the JT issue. Please post there or PM RDD directly. This thread is not about that.

 

"We're pretty lucky to have Robert Damron on GolfWRX and he has kindly agreed to answer any of our questions related to tour life and other golf topics (i.e. insights, playing advice, etc)."

 

This fits in the realm of "golf topics." Not seeing an issue.

 

What aren't you seeing? Theres an ENTIRE THREAD dedicated to that topic. This could not be more simple.

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Thanks! I'll do my best

1)Best advice is to let them have fun. Let them develop hand eye coordination first. Don't really give many tips until they never whiff shots anymore or ask for them.

My Dad bought me a bike (I was around 9) when I hit a green 10 times in a row from about 70 yards. That kept me practicing for a while!

I'd avoid any coaches until much later. Stick to fundamentals.

2)I never really got first tee jitters, but I did always think about how embarrassed I would be if I topped the first tee shot. Weird. Also, I didn't vary preparation much for any tournament. I just figured that I'm a pretty good golfer so if I do my job well I could handle any course.

3)AP was a fixture in my life from the time I was around 8 or 9. When I was on tour, he made a few calls and got me exemptions into a few events that I wasn't going to be in. Mostly, despite the age gap, he was a friend. I spent hundreds of hours with him at Bay Hill, and I wish I had more.

4)You'll never be too good with your wedges. Practice your yardages as much as you can. If you trust your wedge game you'll also be less likely to go for dumb shots that'll result in doubles or triples. That being said, the driver is easily the most important club in your bag. Drive it well and you're on offense, drive it bad and you're on defense.

5)I have used my Taylor Made MC irons for about 7 years now, and I like them a lot. I think the best irons I ever hit though were the callaway x-12's (I think it was '03 when I used them). Really solid.

 

Awesome insights. I really appreciate you taking the time to answer them. One of my biggest gripes is the parent at the range pounding terrible knowledge into their kids head. Keeping it fun is key and one day I'll pass on your story about getting a bike if they hit the green ten times in a row.

 

Any chance the golf channel would start covering and broadcasting some of the top junior events in the country, or put a few highlights on Morning Drive Drive beyond a putt. Similar to what espn does with High School basketball and football? There was a segment recently with Annika and the winner of her Junior tourney hitting balls on the screen while talking about her game. My kid ate it up!

It would be cool but doubtful. It's all about ratings
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Close friends and family always come first in life.

 

Why do you think that Justin Thomas, who's going to a wedding of one of his good friends, that was scheduled many months before Arnold Palmer's passing, should shun his friend to participate in the tournament at Bay Hill instead? I'm having a very hard time coming up with logical reasoning for your stance on this.

 

Seriously, there's already a thread dedicated to the JT issue. Please post there or PM RDD directly. This thread is not about that.

 

"We're pretty lucky to have Robert Damron on GolfWRX and he has kindly agreed to answer any of our questions related to tour life and other golf topics (i.e. insights, playing advice, etc)."

 

This fits in the realm of "golf topics." Not seeing an issue.

 

What aren't you seeing? Theres an ENTIRE THREAD dedicated to that topic. This could not be more simple.

 

This is a thread where Damron is answering questions. Why call him to another thread when this is the one designated to ask questions?

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1) We always hear that what separates pros from the best amateurs is 100 yards and in. Is that really the case?

 

2) Funniest golfer you've ever played with?

 

3) Did the Golf Channel sign a contract with Warner Bros. stipulating they need to play Tin Cup a certain amount of times each year?

 

#3 is hilarious and one many of us want to know!

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1) We always hear that what separates pros from the best amateurs is 100 yards and in. Is that really the case?

 

2) Funniest golfer you've ever played with?

 

3) Did the Golf Channel sign a contract with Warner Bros. stipulating they need to play Tin Cup a certain amount of times each year?

1) No. Guts and will power separate top pros. Driving it 330 in the middle of the fairway helps too.

2) Greg Kraft if hands down funniest tour player ever. He works blue though!

3) No idea about how many times GC plays Tin Cup, but it has one of the worst endings in cinematic history..

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1) Greatest shot you've ever hit.

 

2) Greatest shot you've ever witnessed first hand.

 

3) Greatest shot of all-time in your opinion.

1) 2 iron from right fairway bunker (it's not there anymore) on 18 at Doral's blue monster. I was a rookie on tour and nervous as hell on 72nd hole. Hit it absolutely perfect to 10 feet. Missed the putt but finished 5th. (1st top 10 on tour for me)

2) Maybe Phil Mickelson flop shot on first hole at Westchester. You'd have to have been there to appreciate it, but holy crap...

3) Jack's 1 iron '72 US Open. Pebble Beach, 71st hole

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What was the most frustrating part of being on tour?

 

How did winning on tour change your life?

I didn't like travel as I got older, and I lived thru the ball change. The game got so much longer and I didn't. Plus I despise slow play. Tour is sooo slow.

 

Winning didn't change my life, but it was the culmination of years of hard work and dreams. I still have trophy in my office, and I'm still very proud of it (16 years later)

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Do you still love to play the game? When it was once your job can you enjoy playing now at a non professional level? How often do you play or practice?

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1) Greatest shot you've ever hit.

 

2) Greatest shot you've ever witnessed first hand.

 

3) Greatest shot of all-time in your opinion.

1) 2 iron from right fairway bunker (it's not there anymore) on 18 at Doral's blue monster. I was a rookie on tour and nervous as hell on 72nd hole. Hit it absolutely perfect to 10 feet. Missed the putt but finished 5th. (1st top 10 on tour for me)

2) Maybe Phil Mickelson flop shot on first hole at Westchester. You'd have to have been there to appreciate it, but holy crap...

3) Jack's 1 iron '72 US Open. Pebble Beach, 71st hole

 

Is there a vid of Phil's shot at Westchester? I'm assuming you mean the Buick Classic?

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I just want to give you props for sticking it out on here despite the flack you took on the JT board from myself and others....I'm sure it's frustrating having to defend yourself like that constantly, but a sincere kudos to you sir.

 

I do have a question though....How overstated are the yardages the announcers call? Sometimes they are saying players are hitting 8 iron from 200 or 5 iron from 240 out.....with the exception of maybe DJ or Bubba, how much of an exaggeration is that? I only ask because it really messes with how amateurs play golf in my opinion.

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Close friends and family always come first in life.

 

Why do you think that Justin Thomas, who's going to a wedding of one of his good friends, that was scheduled many months before Arnold Palmer's passing, should shun his friend to participate in the tournament at Bay Hill instead? I'm having a very hard time coming up with logical reasoning for your stance on this.

You're right. Close friends and family are the most important thing in your life next to good health.

That being said, only 10 of 25 players are coming to this year's API. Very few top players went to his funeral. That is awfully disrespectful to his legacy and his family.

I am fine with JT going to the wedding, but hopefully he makes a personal call to Mr Palmer's family to explain.

When I sent the original tweet, I was a sitting at Mr Palmer's old table in the Bay Hill locker room and had a couple beers in me. I wouldn't do it if I had it to do over.

Thoughts on Gary Player not attending Mr. Palmers funeral and paying his final respects to his life long friend? To me that is light years more disrespectful than certain players of today not attending his funeral or playing his event this year.
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Do you still love to play the game? When it was once your job can you enjoy playing now at a non professional level? How often do you play or practice?

I absolutely love the game, it is responsible for almost every good thing in my life, but I don't love playing nearly as much as I did. My skills aren't anywhere close to what they once were and I never practice, so I know it won't get better. I play maybe once or twice a week, but I hang around the club every day.
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1) Greatest shot you've ever hit.

 

2) Greatest shot you've ever witnessed first hand.

 

3) Greatest shot of all-time in your opinion.

1) 2 iron from right fairway bunker (it's not there anymore) on 18 at Doral's blue monster. I was a rookie on tour and nervous as hell on 72nd hole. Hit it absolutely perfect to 10 feet. Missed the putt but finished 5th. (1st top 10 on tour for me)

2) Maybe Phil Mickelson flop shot on first hole at Westchester. You'd have to have been there to appreciate it, but holy crap...

3) Jack's 1 iron '72 US Open. Pebble Beach, 71st hole

 

Is there a vid of Phil's shot at Westchester? I'm assuming you mean the Buick Classic?

Yes Buick Classic, no video. It was our first hole and it was way before PGA Tour Live.
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