Did any of you see Luke Donald win the BMW PGA championship at Wentworth on Sunday?
He was the defending champion and he achieved another PGA victory in fine style, this also took him back to world no 1.
It looked like it was going to be a duel between two Englishmen, Donald and Justin Rose over the final eighteen holes, and even though Donald had a two stroke lead over Rose you never know what will happen in golf.
As it turned out Donald had his usual precision with the irons, and the putter was working well, he shot a 68 and won by four from Rose and Paul Lawrie, who shot a great final round of 66 to share second place.
So how did Luke beat all his rivals?
Obviously he had all parts of his game under control, and when he had opportunities to make birdies his strength his putting, came to the fore.
Rose did have his opportunities but could not get those putts to drop when he had to.
I followed Luke round Wentworth on Tuesday the practice day, I always go on the practice days because I can take my camera and you can get up close for some great swing sequences.
Luke was with Dave Allred his performance coach who has given Luke a more focused and measurable practice regime.
He really does work hard on his bunker play which is spectacular, virtually every hole played he hit practice bunker shots from all different areas around the greens.
I watched him earlier in the year at Dove Mountain for the WGC matchplay tournament and he would practice his putting for at least an hour every day, and using his putting aids to help him, a tee either end of the putt with string tied between them, he had his putting mirror all lined up, and had his caddie watching. He also putted with one hand his right and was making fifteen foot putts regularly!
Its not just putting a few balls round the green for an hour.
They say he is a short hitter, well he hit drives at Wentworth between 280 yds to 320 yds, its all relative, ok some players hit it thirty yds longer, but they do say, drive for show and putt for dough!
His great strength is he sticks to his game plan and he knows his strengths and weaknesses, what he can and can’t do under pressure, and keeps going relentlessy, he doesn’t force things and if he makes a birdie great, and if he makes a bogey he just continues, he can forget the bad shot and usually bounces back with a birdie on the next hole.
His body language and demeanour are very good you don’t know if he has had a good or bad hole, or round.
Lessons to learn
Have a practice routine and a plan of improvement.
Practice your putting and bunker play.
Keep calm and focused during play.
Know your strengths and weaknesses and don’t try shots on the course you have never practiced.
David Bown PGA AA Golf Professional
Authorised Golfing Machine Instructor
To view my website. www.bowngolf.com
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