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May 13, 2012

Bob Estes


Q.テつ You were just rolling along and all of the sudden, bam, bam, bam, things started going in the hole?
BOB ESTES:テつ Well, yeah, I made a putt on the first hole for birdie, so I got off to a good start.テつ Then a lot of good 2‑putts, another one on 8, and then I went for the green on No.9 in two, maybe for the first time ever and got that one up‑and‑down.テつ Got off to a good start.

Q.テつ What is it about this layout?テつ You've been here 20 years now, and you've got one Top‑25 finish.テつ What changed, if anything, today?
BOB ESTES:テつ Well, actually, I've been working hard since October straightening out my ball flight.テつ This is a real right‑to‑left golf course.テつ Almost all of the tee shots, you have to move the ball right‑to‑left off the tee and into the greens.テつ It's a real uncomfortable golf course for a fader; you can play well but you've got to be on.テつ Over four days, and all those practice rounds, that's a lot of being uncomfortable when you hit the ball‑‑ when your shots for the most part are a little bit left‑to‑right.
So I like the challenge of the golf course, but I'm having to hit 3 woods off a lot of these tees, like 16 and 2 and maybe a few others depending on the wind and how firm the fairways are just to make it easier for me to turn the ball over, because the driver, especially these days is hard to draw.テつ Some guys don't have a problem with it but I'm hitting 3‑wood sometimes instead of driver.

Q.テつ You had a long putt on 8 and one on 15; is this as close as remember getting to these pins?
BOB ESTES:テつ Yeah, probably.テつ So my low round here, I don't know what it is, it's probably 68; I can't remember if I shot lower than that before‑‑ 67 once.
Yeah, I mean, I had a lot of good looks at it.テつ I did make a couple long ones like you said but hit a lot of shots close.テつ The ball was just going in.テつ I was pretty comfortable with the putter and getting them on‑line and we were reading them well.テつ Yeah, making them the way you're supposed to.

Q.テつ If the cloud cover keeps up, will that keep the greens from firming up for the late groups?テつ It's not making in the sun too long.
BOB ESTES:テつ Yeah, I guess that's right.テつ It's kind of breezy out there, too, so the wind will be drying them out.テつ What time is it now?テつ Two o'clock?テつ Have the leaders teed off yet?
So yeah, assuming that the storms don't get us they may already have gone by, I don't know, but with the wind blowing, it will dry it out some more.
That 17th green I noticed is a little bit softer, and I saw them watering it last night on the Golf Channel, which makes sense.テつ You don't want that to turn into a ridiculous hole like it maybe had played many, many years ago and the greens was just so firm, everything was just bouncing over the back and going in the water.

Q.テつ Is this as good as you've been playing in a while?
BOB ESTES:テつ I'm playing a lot better and I'm having more fun playing golf than I ever had.テつ I started working with Jim Flick back in October before the Disney tournament, so I had a good, solid tournament after my first couple of sessions with him.テつ I've continued to see Jim Flick in California a number of times since then.
He's not telling me everything I need to do; we are kind of working through it together because there are certain things that I kind of have to feel that match up with what he's teaching me.テつ That's helped a lot.
Then I went back to putting with the left hand below the right on Friday.テつ I putted very poorly on Thursday.テつ So I putted left‑hand‑low on Friday, Saturday, Sunday.テつ Didn't putt quite as well yesterday, but I know that's the way I'm supposed to putt and I'll try hard to stick with that the rest of my career.

Q.テつ Is there anything that you can say right now has been the most important thing that's taken hold?
BOB ESTES:テつ Yeah, what Jim and I have been trying to do is put me in a position‑‑ well, there's been a number of things that all had to happen to allow me to be much more comfortable on the golf course, and to hit the ball straighter.テつ I had to strengthen my grip.テつ I got a little more knee flex, and I'm getting more extension going away from the ball keeping the club lower and keeping it more in front of me.
So I'm keeping the club more in front of me and then we work real hard on keeping the right shoulder back in transition, because I used to get the club too laid off from behind me and I would have to reroute it to get the face back over the ball to come over the top.テつ So stronger grip allows me to make a better backswing and then a focus on keeping the right shoulder back in transition.

Q.テつ Just one little thing‑‑
BOB ESTES:テつ I played my entire career for the most part with too weak of a grip and not a very good backswing.テつ So I've been out of position at the top almost my entire career.テつ So I've pretty much just survived with my short game and my course management, knowing what I can and can't do, stuff like that.
So that's why I tried to stay healthy, stay in shape, so that I could get some more years out of my career, if I ever figured out how to hit the ball the way that I should or a TOUR pro should.
It's fun to be able to hit it so much better than I ever did before.

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