Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Joey D: Verizon Heritage Almost Underway

Coach Joey D reporting from the Verizon Heritage Classic in Hilton Head, SC. Day one went very well with my field this week - Jason Dufner, Tom Pernice Jr. and Charlie Wi.

All three had a week off as there's no smaller event opposite the Masters, so it was a week of active rest, which I often talk about in the blog and you know I believe in. A lot of the guys out here tend to 'overplay' and stack too many tournaments in a row, which wears you out. Sometimes it's good to enter a week on a roll, coming off a solid week - but in most occasions, nothing beats active rest.

Dufner is in the midst of a really good year. As mentioned before, he struggled last year and earned his card back in Q-School. He's rededicated himself in body and he's playing with a very calm mind, which is necessary out here. I think Jason is starting to mature as a player and he's putting together some nice rounds, closing the deal. A quality T9th finish at the Honda last month. Made seven of nine cuts this season. He's coming off a rough showing at the Shell Houston open (T77th), but again let's see how he plays at Hilton Head after a few weeks of active rest.

There have been some shoulder issues that have hindered Jason this season, but we're working through them and those aside, he's really finding his way this year. I'm very proud of what he's accomplished thus far this season - especially regarding functional biomechanics. He's rededicated himself and it's paying off. This week we'll continue trying to open up his hips, which are a little tight. If the hips don't rotate, the upper body won't do what you need it do. Jason knows his hips are impacting his backswing, so he's doing what it takes to right the ship.

This is something for the at-home golfers to think about. When teeing it up this spring, after a winter layover, your swing might be fine. It might be your body that's not reacting as you want it to after the layoff. Check into your body as that's where you're going to address almost all of your issues.

My guy Tom Pernice Jr. is in the field this week, which is always a good thing. Turning fifty pretty soon and no talk of the Senior Tour. TPJ is still getting after it harder than a lot of the younger guys. He had a $1.3M finish in '08 and finished T9th at the Bob Hope a few months back. Tom is relentless about fitness and staying in shape. He's on a mission to stay on this tour as long as he can and as long as he remains as consistent as he has, he will.

Tom recognizes that he lacks a little bit of distance, but he's an extremely polished player and a tireless worker both in the gym and in regards to his swing mechanics. He knows that age isn't a limitation when it comes to golf. Back in '06 he had a $2.3M season and seven top ten finishes and he's really blossomed as a player in his late forties. I'd like some of our readers in that same age group to take notice. With biomechanics and golf fitness on your side, age is nothing but a number.

Charlie Wi is in the field as well and this is another guy who's been in contention this season and is having a phenomenal year. Aside from being constantly focused, Charlie has one of best attitudes of anybody you'll find out here. Always smiling and very aware of the benefits that a strong mental game bring, he's also not afraid of a little hard work in the trailer before a round of golf. Work ethic plus positive mental attitude are absolutely paying off for Charlie this season.

I'm expecting good things from all three of my guys this week. The weather looks like it will cooperate, everyone is rested and ready to get back to work and the fact that the Masters is in the rearview is a good thing. The pressure of the first major is no longer hanging around and the overall feel is much more relaxed this week. Being that Hilton Head is so close to Augusta, you have a strong field this week. Soon after arriving in town I already caught up with Zach Johnson, Stewart Cink, Tim Clark - a lot of great players made the short trek, which is always exciting for the fans. 

I think we're going to see some good scores out here this week, thanks to the overall relaxed atmosphere and I'm looking forward to getting things started tomorrow. Follow the action on the Golf Channel on Thursday/Friday and CBS this weekend.

I'll check back in Friday to report back on my threesome in this week's field.

Joey D.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joey, I am in my last year of High School and would like to follow the same career path as yourself. Working with world class athletes has been a dream of mine for some time. However, I am unsure of how to prepare myself? How do you become a Bio-mechanics coach? I am assuming it requires a college education followed by plenty of field experience. What is your background, training, education? How do you gain the title of Biomechanist? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

6:56 PM  
Blogger said...

First and foremost, best of luck in your journey.

Regarding your degree, go down the road of Exercise Science in college... or a similar major like Kinesiology.

Since you're still in high school, I'd definitely recommend talking to a counselor or even a golf coach at your school, if there is one that's qualified.

Dr. Craig Davies has a facility in Orlando, FL that would be worth checking out and looking into.

I'm not sure where you're located but the PGA Tour headquarters are in Jacksonville, FL and Florida itself is a hot bed for golf. You might want to look into some state schools -- Florida, Florida State, Central Florida, South Florida -- and see what courses they offer.

Also, pay attention to schools with good NCAA golf programs and a good coaching staff. Getting on board with them as an intern or grad assistant... getting on board with sports medicine and the football, baseball or strength & conditioning programs. That'd all be beneficial, too.

It's what you know, but it also takes putting yourself in the right place in order to be successful. Easier to get closer to the PGA Tour in you're in Florida, as opposed to North Dakota.

Best of luck. - Joey D.

7:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joey, it's Brian again from Chicago. Thanks for the reply regarding my dream of working with world class athletes. The advice you gave is all good and something I will adhere to for my future journey. That said, I am really interested to know how you got where you are. What is the educational pathway that you took to get where you are, or rather what school did you get your kinesiology degree from and how would you rate it? is there additional study that you took on to elevate yourself to the top of the field in bio-mechanics? Thanks in advance, Brian.

11:58 PM  

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