Golf is global, and so are the conditions

<pre><pre>Golf is global, and so are the conditions


In the course On the European Tour one year, the players visited 31 countries in any weather. They played in cold, windy conditions in scorching sun in Scotland and Ireland in the deserts of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and let the ball fly into the thin mountain air on courses in Switzerland and South Africa. There were also many perfectly sunny days.

Your golf trip will culminate this week in DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, The event determines who wins the seasonal race of the European Tour to Dubai.

While everyone participating in the tour will undoubtedly earn frequent flyer miles, all of these trips mean a constant adjustment to new conditions, temperatures and heights that affect a golf ball.

The ball doesn't fly that far in windy, cold Scotland, but in the dry heat of Dubai. But there is also grass to consider. It Throws the ball on in South Africa in a week, making it taller and easier to hit, and swallowed or twisted on Dubai's Bermuda grass, a grass that's great for heat and can divert putts at the last minute.

There are also differences in altitude. The ball in the Swiss mountains flies further than at sea level.

If you incorporate the effects of jet lag and heat or cold on players, game conditions can change significantly every week. And while the best golfers in the world figure it out, players, caddies, and coaches feel that adaptation takes time and is a learned skill.

"A lot of professionals are struggling to deal with changes in distance, especially young professionals," said Alan Burns, a professional caddy who works for them Justin Harding,

"They go out there and bomb it and there is no calculation for it. After being out a bit, they want to learn something and ask how the conditions affect the ball flight."

Burns said he gave Harding two meters: the real one and the "Bryson". The second one he named for the PGA Tour Pro Bryson DeChambeau, who studied physics at college and brought scientific accuracy to his game. Burns tells DeChambeau to show what a golf ball does under different conditions.

"Let's say it's 170 meters," said Burns. "I say our Bryson number is 180. I used to call it a height number, but he said I don't understand it."

The variation in distances based on temperature and altitude can be large for the same club. Sam Horsfield, who has been on the European Tour since then 2017said he had to adjust his mileage after growing up in Orlando.

Under normal conditions – 75 degrees, near sea level – it hits a 6-iron 200 meters. If he is playing in the mountains of Johannesburg or the Swiss Alps, the same club can send the ball 225 yars. But if he's in cold conditions in Scotland or Ireland, he could hit those 6-iron 165 yards. "It only depends on the climate," he said.

In Dubai this week, the heat will allow the ball to fly a little further, with temperatures predicted in the mid-1980s, but the bigger concern among some players was Bermuda grass.

"When you play in Bermuda, you get a lot of fliers," he said Richard stars, a European Tour professional who will play in the DP World Championship and refers to shots that jump out of the rough and travel further than expected. "You're technology has to be pretty good."

Mr. Burns, the caddy, said some players like Mr. Harding had two sets of wedges to adapt to the different grass: one for Bermuda and rye grass, the other for normal and softer conditions.

Mr. Sterne, the professional 2001he said, usually adapted to different conditions in a day or two. But it takes work on the training field and on the track. For him, rest may be the most important variable.

"Our tour is around the world," he said, noting that the flight to South Africa was from the Turkish Airlines open was over 10 Hrs. “We have to adapt to traveling and eating much faster. The guys in the US don't have to do that. It's hard on the body. "

Michael Bentley, a performance trainer with Paradigm Performance Groupsaid that playing consistently under different conditions required extensive preparation beyond the standards. He divides it into four components: physical condition, mental condition, swing technique and tactical approach.

In terms of tactics, preparing could mean practicing in three layers of clothing to get used to colder conditions, or on a sunny day in a rain suit.

"If I can combine emotions with these simulations, I can do something pretty powerful," said Bentley.

"A player can imagine:" I know that with this shot I am 80 percent effective under these conditions. "He doesn't stand there and says," This is a brand new iron. I've never worn these pants before. These shoes are stiff. This ball is brand new. "

It is this mental component where different conditions can affect even the best players. Ben Kimball, Senior Director of Championships at the United States Golf Association, Set up the United States Women's Open in 2011 and the United States Senior Open in 2018 In the Broadmoor golf club in Colorado Springs, that's a course 6000 feet Above the sea level.

"It brought In an element that I had no control over, ”said Mr. Kimball. "It triggered a golf test and forced her to use her brain without manipulating anything on the ground."

The impact of altitude on golfers was reflected in the scores, he said. The winners of the Senior Open 2018 were three below average. There were 16 the year before and 19 the year after, both courses near sea level.

"It's going to be a lot more mental on the high side," he said. "You have to trust what you hit. Will my 8-iron really fly 200 meters?"