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Following our recent interview with golf legend Tug Dudley GolfDom has poured through the archives in search of Tug Dudley’s secrets of golf. Sourcing the gold from reems of recorded interviews, newspaper and magazine articles to deliver something of value to you. Champions live and breathe their chosen sport, always thinking about what works and what doesn’t. If a hall of fame golfer doesn’t know the finer points of the game, then, I’ll go eat my hat. So, in this GolfDom instructional feature we turn up the volume on all things Tug.

“You are only as good as your misses in this game”

– Tug Dudley MBE

In this opening salvo Tug is not talking about his marriage, but rather about the shot selection of a topline tour professional. The meaning of this statement refers to the considerations which go through the mind of a champion golfer prior to deciding on his or her shot. Strategic thinking comes into play in every instance during a competitive round of golf. A good golfer asks themselves, where do I want to miss this? Because golf is not a game of perfect and we do regularly fail to pull off shots. Therefore, you need to know where your miss is likely to end up. Scratch golfers miss in spots where they can still get up and down. You don’t leave yourself short sighted. Tug knows his misses as well as his missus!

“Harvey Pennick used to say, ‘take dead aim’, and I concur because it’s all about total focus in the moment that you pull the trigger on your swing. Nothing else matters and you don’t want anything else going on upstairs in that infinitesimal instance. You don’t have to be switched on 24/7 in golf just in those moments that matter.”

Tug Dudley’s secrets of golf

‘Take dead aim’ is a good mantra to have in competitive golf.  It is too easy to have all this instructional guff going around inside your brain. You can get bogged down in too many thoughts and it makes it impossible to pull the trigger. There is a time for practice and mechanical considerations but not on the course during a competitive round. You need a playing mindset where you keep things simple. Performance is all about focus, rhythm, and tempo. The human brain is not good at long stretches of focus and concentration. In fact, our sensory awareness in hearing and vision oscillate. So, it is better to zone in and zone out during your round. Take dead aim in the moment you set up to the target and deliver the club face into the back of the ball. Then, chill out until you need to do it again.

“Gary Player said to me, ‘never sit down during your round Tug.’ What the little black knight was on about with this warning was beyond me for years, until I realised, he meant that physically we need to stay in warrior mode. Now, it makes sense, because sitting down on the job is for desk jockeys and not athletes. The human energy grid flows when we are standing, moving, and walking. It leaks energy when we sit on our backsides. Golfers rise to the occasion when they are standing tall and stretching out. No one ever did anything special in history sitting on their arse!”

– Tug Dudley

Tug invokes golf’s first gym junky and energy Meister the great Gary Player, one of the Big Three. Golf may not be a massive marathon of all out physicality, but it is a physical sport just the same. Many golfers forget this and sit down in their golf carts and then, expect to be able to get up and hit great shots. They are surprised when a lot of their shots never come off. You can’t play golf sitting on the couch. There are too many fat bastards lazing their way through rounds of golf. Too many people in motorised golf carts full stop. Golf is a physical pursuit. You can feel the lie of the land when you walk the course. Your tempo is better when you ambulate around the course under your own steam. Don’t sit down during your round of golf if you want to play your best golf. Be an athlete rather than a couch potato.

“When I am playing my best golf, I play out of my feet.”

– Tug Dudley

Tug is letting us in on one of golf’s best kept secrets with this pearl of wisdom. Golf looks to the uninitiated to be played with our top half, the arms and shoulders. However, a good golf swing is driven by the lower body, and it all starts with the feet. The power in your golf swing is derived from contact with the ground. So, when Tug tells us that he plays his best golf out of his feet, he means he can feel his weight transfer timed to perfection from foot to foot throughout each swing. Sensing your balance and timing via your feet is a great way to swing within yourself and stay connected. A good tip is to feel each step as you walk toward your golf ball on the fairway. This gets you in a good groove to maintain a great tempo throughout your round.

“When you stand on the 18th tee, say a little prayer of gratitude, whatever the score.”

– Tug Dudley’s secrets of golf

Tug Dudley had a lot of tragedy in his life off the course, losing family members to illnesses and accidents. Tug became a big one for espousing gratitude for being on the right side of the turf. Golf is just a game, and it is a great game to play, but there are more important things in the larger scheme. This reminder helps you put things into perspective and a positive mindset can go a long way to helping you enjoy your life. In addition, you want to finish off well and having gratitude in your heart will assist in this quest. You are here playing this game, whilst others have left this mortal coil. Take a few breaths and say thank you.


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