25 Replies to “Sir Nick Faldo Slow Motion @ The Grand Del Mar 2010”

  1. yes, even though Faldo (pre-’87) was erratic his game was a more exciting. You need consistency to win that many times.

  2. You may know that Nicklaus predicted years ago that the absurd length allowed by the newer balls and equipment, along with game-improvement features (perimeter weighting, etc.), would leave us with a ton of players making a living on tour by looking better than their actual skill warranted. As usual, he was right. Add the all-exempt tour, playable rough, etc., and all the fear is out of the game — which means it’s not even close to the same game.

  3. What you’re saying here is basically true, even though it sucks (it also contradicts some of what you were saying earlier, I think, about how good pros play under control and back off the power a bit, unless you were talking about only the previous generations). Perfect course conditioning, equipment changes, and far more playable rough — all favored by a PGA Tour pushing its product — have just about ruined the game at the pro level, AFAIC.

  4. in short he swung well within himself!…..its not news,i have seen him get wild when he puts the power on!…..basically every shot was like a controlled wedge for you and i! i would not be able to pay long par 72s to may H cap if i did that off the t,and Rory would not be world No1…..like i said its a luxury only a man of his size can afford…..ernie else is the same he doesnt have to GO AT IT!……but the power game has rendered this a yesteryear mentality!

  5. …Fact is, Faldo had distinct hip rotation into and through impact, visible anywhere you want to take a look at his post-1987 swing. The simple truth is that he dialed down the speed and explosiveness of his _entire_ swing (that is, it wasn’t just that he didn’t “use his hips”) because he thought, based on his experience, that it would give him his best chance to become a great player and major-winner. And he was right. He was also not as short as people thought.

  6. 4. To get back to the original problem: One poster said Faldo hit it 245. That’s just not true. As far as I know, there hasn’t been a single year when he hit it anywhere near that short. The stats are what they are, and they also show that he got longer as equipment changed. Then, you responded by saying you wondered why he didn’t “whip his hips through” for more distance, which itself is a simplistic thing to say (people don’t get more distance merely from “whipping hips”)…


  7. 3. I agree he wasn’t superman. But he was the best player in the world for an extended time. And yes, he was “that accurate.” He was also not as short as you or most people think. I’ve cited the stats; you can argue with them if you want. In ’96, for instance, he was six yards shorter off the tee on average than Greg Norman, whose towering drives people used to fawn over, for good reason.


  8. 1. You are wrong to say that “all” pros do not blast their iron shots. The best of them tend not to most of the time. Some do.

    2. You are again missing the point here by disregarding the variables that mattered to Faldo himself. The question for Faldo was partly about comparison to an opponent, but more about what Faldo himself would do from 20 or 30 yards farther back, but in the fairway 20% more of the time (or whatever he thought the exact calculated percentage was).


  9. right lts get one thing straight! ALL the pro golfers on this planet and HEAPS! of good amatuers DO NOT blast 8 irons unless its absolutely necessary! they would PREFER to put their t shot into a distance giving them perfect clubbing,now Do you honestly think NIck would class himself more accurate with a 5 iron than the top players at the mo with a 8 iron?……..now think long and hard! i know you love him but he’s not superman!…….and he was SHORT! and accurate! but not that accurate!

  10. IOW, while it’s true he was somewhat shorter than the longest players in his time, the gap wasn’t nearly as big as people think it was, especially if you compare him to the longest _top_ players. And you can’t compare what he did then with the longest players now. I guarantee you at 55 he can hit it longer than he did at 35, with the new equipment and essentially the same swing. That is a routine experience for a good player.

  11. 2. Only somebody who doesn’t know his swing at all would tell you he didn’t “whip his hips through.” Check any photo of him through the impact zone.

    3. The last year I can find driving distance stats for him (2007), he was age 50 and hitting it about 274 — still not coming out of his shoes, and still about 30 yards behind the longest top players. At 48, he was 18 yards _longer_ off the tee (280) than he was at 42.


  12. Also:

    1. Faldo hit it longer than “245” on average. His average with that relatively gentle action and the old equipment in ’96, for instance, was 264.1, only 20 yards behind John Daly. You give me Faldo in the fairway 10-20 percent more than Daly, hitting it from 20 yards behind Daly, and he’s gonna kill Daly over a year. Are you kidding? And by the way: That 264 was only 6 yards on average behind Norman. Six.


  13. But regardless, yes, I’d take Faldo with a five-iron against the run-of-the-mill tour player (current or not) with an 8-iron, with Faldo in the fairway a greater percentage of the time, as long as the rough was tough enough to actually matter, over the four rounds of a major. That was his calculation, and because he got that calculation right, he won several majors and was the best player in the world for some time. If you don’t know that, I don’t know why you’re in this discussion.

  14. At any rate, the idea that courses “didn’t fully test” players back then is complete rubbish, a real twit thing to say, just more “these guys are good” marketing from the PGA Tour. Players of previous generations played with much shorter equipment on less-groomed courses with much tougher rough and greens that weren’t nearly as good. If the guys today were as great as the marketing says, they ought to be setting scoring records by 10 shots every week, but they don’t. (ct’d)

  15. …which at least a few other players still do. Or, he might’ve found that he could press for distance a bit more off the tee with the drivers today that are ridiculously easy to hit and stupidly long, drivers I hit at least 35-40 yards longer at 50 than I did the standard driver at 25 (and a plus-2 handicap). He would’ve adapted if necessary. If you haven’t seen the video of him hitting Taylor Made 6-irons 200 yards one after the other with no extra effort, maybe you ought to. (ct’d)

  16. …So you can go convince him he made the wrong decision anytime you want. As for the longer courses, they’re simply in response to much faster fairways, much less penal rough, and much longer equipment, not to anything like vastly increased skill levels. He wouldn’t have been “imputant” [sic] today; he would’ve been longer on average today because of these factors EVEN THOUGH he played a control game…(ctd.)

  17. Well done yourself for getting somewhere just barely in the ballpark re the actual truth. Faldo wasn’t playing against “current” tour players, of course; he was playing against the tour players of his time, and yes, he was more accurate over the long haul with a 5-iron from the fairway, being in that fairway a greater percentage of the time, than blasters were with an 8-iron from that same fairway a lower percentage of the time.


  18. well done for answering in less than 10 paragraphs!……no one cares about your half cocked theory that faldo was more accurate with a five iron than 95% of the current tour players are with an 8 iron,its just rubbish,but the fact is this HE IS A GIANT! and managed playing with only 75% of his power! this is a luxury most of us dont have! 7500 yard champinship courses have rendered him imputant,the courses back then didnt fully test him!

  19. I’m satisfied for anybody to read the argument and decide for him/herself at this point whether or not it’s “talking shit.”

    It does seem to me that the burden is on you, though. You’re making some vague and sideways case that Faldo played an inferior brand of golf while he was #1 in the world for several years and winning all those majors. If you’re going to remain ignorant of what Faldo himself has (and others have) said about the controlled way of playing, who can help you?

  20. HA HA HA ……..answers in less than 10000 words please! been playin golf since 1983……….and been a member of the human race since 1971……..both qualify me to point out when someone is talkin shit………..and you sir are talkin shit!

  21. …in answer to your question: If it’s for my house, I’ll take Faldo with the 5-iron from the fairway a higher percentage of the time, versus 90-95% of other tour players with an 8-iron from the fairway a lower percentage of the time.

    You’re talking like the typical latecoming golf fan who isn’t even aware of an era when hitting fairways actually mattered — when missing them actually hurt your score. That may be the real problem here. I see you have no response to the Torrey Pines example.

  22. You’re missing the point again. It’s not a choice between what the same guy can do from the fairway with an 5-iron versus an 8. It’s a decision Faldo made about his overall game, including his percentage of hitting fairways. His total score hitting a higher percentage of fairways, but 25 to 40 yards back (say), thus leaving a longer iron into the green, was going to be better than it was hitting a shorter iron into the green a lower percentage of times from the fairway. So…

  23. 4. The real point beyond all this is that Faldo himself thought this way of playing gave him his best chance to shoot _his_ lowest score, particularly in majors, without regard to what anybody else was doing.

    5. If your point is that you think Faldo was not _capable_ of being longer, you’re simply wrong. Argue with the before-and-after-swing-change stats if you want. Wouldn’t surprise me if you did.

    I’ve answered your other nonsense separately.

  24. 3. It is pretty much undisputed among players and teachers that more players in 1990, and then 2000, and then 2012, are/have been likely to try to max out power with the irons, to their detriment; it was more common among players in, say, 1955 or 1970 to back off with both driver _and_ irons, thinking more about position than all-out power (cf. Nicklaus’ own words).


  25. I mean, it’s just fun watching you make a fool out of yourself here, but I guess I’ll answer. (If the answer is too long for you to read, it’s OK — you can leave it for other people who have the attention span.)

    To your specific nonsense in _this_ post:

    1. Both Faldo himself and other tour players have said exactly what I’m saying here.

    2. It is always true that _some_ players prefer to hit irons in a controlled rather than all-out manner.


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