Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Joey D: In Miami and checking in from Doral

Coach Joey D checking in from Miami this week. Congrats again to my guys Jason Dufner and Charlie Wi last week, who both wrapped up the Honda Classic with matching T9th finishes.

Glad to be back in Miami. Weather is great, my guys are doing all I'm asking of them and headed to the Heat/Celtics game tonight with coach Chris Noss and Stewart Cink. A little Eastern Conference showdown. Should be fun.

A couple of big storylines this week. Tiger Woods is returning for his first event since getting ousted in the second round of match play a few weeks back and a lot of folks will be tuning in to see if Geoff Ogilvly can continue his dominance at the World Golf Championship events. After winning in Marana a few week back, Ogilvy is going for his fourth WGC win this week.

Last week we posted an article about Geoff attributing his recent win to his fitness regime and I was glad to hear him say that. Geoff has the exact same demeanor on the course as he does off the course, which is pretty rare, and I'm happy to see everything coming together for him as it has.

I've gotten to know him over the years and he's finally at a point in his career where he's strong both physically, mentally and emotionally and he's combining those traits en route to becoming a very dominating force in golf.

Genetically Geoff is a true athlete. He cycles, swims and trains with multiple functions of movement. Cardiovascular, strength & conditioning, too. He works hard with his coach Stevie Adams and everything they're doing translates to a really good golf swing.

Geoff has the ability to put all of that together and bring it out to the course every week. I'm expecting good things from him at Doral.

Moving on to Tiger, it's the second event back since the knee surgery. I still stand by what I said a few week ago regarding coming back to the Tour and re-establishing his game. If he wasn't ready, he wouldn't be out here. He'll take it week by week and he'll do all the necessary things he needs to complete the healing and recovery process. He knows how his golf swing impacts his body and he's going to work with that and get it right.

Mentally, you still scratch your head regarding what he does and how he does it. Tiger truly is one of the strongest mental athletes we've ever seen in sports.

Vijay Singh is also battling his way back from knee surgery this week. I bumped into him the other day and he's been working hard. He says the knee is feeling great and that he's ready to go. He's got a new trainer out on tour with him and I wish both those guys the best of luck.

Vijay is obviously still a dominant force in golf and he continues to show that age is just a number, not a limitation, which is a point I'd like to drive home with any golfers reading this blog. If you work on the physical side of your game, focus on biomechanics, stretch and incorporate a cardiovascular workout into your regime, you are going to help the longevity of your game for years to come. I can't stress enough how important all that should be for all of you.

We have a great overall field this week. Another World Golf event with the best players in the world ready to tee it up on Thursday.

My horse Pat Perez is back after a week off and he's well-rested and is ready to go. I worked with him earlier this morning and his body is moving nicely after some time off. We'll get after it again this afternoon for a second session. He's hitting it really well and his swing coach Mike Abbott is also here this week, working with Pat and taking care of that aspect of his game. It really helps when the swing coaches are around as it allows me to help tweak and fine tune the guys before the event is underway.

Pat's confidence is pretty high going into this week. He moved from 61st to 58th in the World Golf rankings and is fired up to be back out here after a week off.

Ryuji Imada is in the field this week, too. He's working hard, showing great promise and is doing everything I ask of him. For a smaller man, Ryuji has an amazing golf swing. It's textbook and his biomechanics are flawless. We had to work a few things out with his driver, but things are coming together nicely and he'll be ready to roll by Thursday.

Lastly, the weather. Definitely going to be sunny and hot in South Florida this week and that's something to touch on for all golfers. Weather was a factor on the west coast with all the wind, rain and bone-chilling temperatures.

A few weeks back we talked about making sure to layer, staying warm and keeping the blood flowing with cardio workouts before hitting the course. When playing in the sweltering heat and humidity in Miami, the focus needs to be staying hydrated. Doral is a long course and guys need to make sure they're prepared to endure these conditions. I've told my guys that if they're not hitting the Port-A-John every three holes, they're not properly hydrated.

Water. Trail Mix. Bananas for potassium. All golfers need to have that stuff in their bag in these types of conditions.

Back to business on this end. More to come next week. Tune in for the World Golf Championship at Doral, starting tomorrow and I'll blog again next week from Tampa.

Joey D.


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