GOOD golf comes in short bursts. Even the best players rarely play their best for more than three weeks at a time and only once or twice a year - if they are lucky.
If you want to experience a winning streak you had better play beautifully. The better the player the more often he will have these bursts of form but two spells per year is as much as anyone can really hope for.
If the three weeks of 'magic' falls at the 'right time,' bang in the middle of the major competitive season - it is how Hall of Fame careers are made.
You will have a better chance of winning at golf if you play beautifully but it isn't a necessity.
In golf, you can play beautifully and lose and play ugly and win because (as we all know) golf is not a game of how but how many - lowest score wins.
Those of us lucky to have benefitted from a hot putter on occasions will know about that truism firsthand. Winning ugly, thanks to a cooperative putter, is a beautiful thing in its own way because the beauty is in the winning.
Ugly wins, back-to-back, just do not happen. Brilliant and all as Shane Lowry's win was at Firestone in 2015, it was ugly.
When the opportunity arose for him to win the US Open this year, he wasn't able to do it because he 'lost' his beautiful game between finishing his third round in the morning and playing his fourth round in the afternoon. Shane wasn't able to win ugly.
Rory McIlroy hasn't managed three weeks of hot golf for a while. Rory's game, in his own words, is fragile. How could that be with all of the natural talent he possesses?
Good golf should come easy to Rory - especially because of the heavy practice and gym workouts that he claims to do.
Perhaps, therein lies the trouble? His expanded torso has knocked his swing out of sync and the club is travelling along a swing path that is not as productive as it used to be?
Jordan Spieth isn't the player he was last year either and Jason Day's bubble of golden form burst at Firestone, at least temporarily, when a poor driving display handed the WGC tournament on a plate to Dustin Johnson.
What's the best way to lower scores? Hit the ball closer to the hole, obviously. It's the key to why Dustin Johnson found an ability to produce the lowest score, for two weeks but not a third.
Always a great driver of the ball, to turn a weakness into a strength, Dustin purchased a TrackMan radar device that club fitter's (mostly) use to measure spin rate, launch angles, ball speed, club speed, how far the ball carries and the angle of the face of the golf club when it strikes the ball.
TrackMan tells us what we need to know about aspects of our technique that the eye is not quick enough to see.
What you feel is not necessarily reality but TrackMan never lies! When applied properly, it turns golf mechanics into a Moneyball numbers game and is of huge benefit to making already good golfers better.
Johnson uses TrackMan to measure his wedge shots. It was the one area where he needed to improve.
He now has so much control over the distances he hits his wedges that he has more opportunities to putt for birdies than ever before.
Three years ago, Johnson was known to be a weak wedge player, statistically ranked 113th on the PGA Tour in approach shots from 50 to 125 yards.
This year he is No. 1 in the same category. He has soared to No. 2 in the world rankings as a result and nobody is talking about the Big-3 of Day, Spieth and McIlroy anymore.
Unfortunately, for Dustin his driver 'went wonky' during The Open at Troon. The opportunity to exploit skillful wedge play doesn't arise when up to your knees in gorse. So, it seems Johnson may have had his run of form too.
Munster Finals Day at Cork Golf Club
After the wonderful successes of Limerick and Castletroy's underage teams the previous weekend, the big boys crashed to disappointing defeats in the Barton Shield and Senior Cup on Saturday last. Munster Senior Cup Final: Monkstown 3-2 Castletroy - Nick Moore lost to Andrew McCormack, 3&2, Donal McDonnell lost to Mark Campbell by 1 hole, Martin Poucher beat Jack Ryan, 6&5, Sean Desmond beat Cian O’Donnell by 1 hole, Eoghan Long beat Cian Daly, 6&5. Former Limerick GC member, Martin Poucher also had a big win for Monkstown his semifinal match against David O'Driscoll (Ballybunion) by 5/4.
In the semifinal Castletroy had defeated a youthful Waterford Castle side: Andrew McCormack beat Ben Murray, 6&5, Mark Campbell beat Andrew Mulhall, 1 hole, Jack Ryan lost to Pat Madigan, 3&2, Dean McMahon lost to Denis Sinnott, 2&1, Cian Daly beat Bill Murray, 2&1.
In the Barton Shield 'semi' Limerick GC lost to the eventual winners Cork GC by 4-holes: Mark Ford & Brian Kelleher beat Pat Murray & Mike Reddan by 2-holes and Gary O’Flaherty & John Hickey beat Mike O’Kelly & Justin Kehoe by 2-holes.
Cork beat Tramore by 7-holes in the final and now have the honour of advancing to represent the province in the All-Ireland Finals at Carton House in September.