By Steve Hosid, Instruction Editor, PGA TOUR Partners Magazine
Not everyone knows the story of Sean O’Hair’s chaotic upbringing at the hands of an overzealous father. Not every high school kid had to run a mile at 5 a.m. for every bogey he shot the previous day. Not every kid has a father who makes them sign two management contracts promising a share of their earnings before and after turning 18.
After finally breaking away from dear old dad, Sean married into a steadying family, had a baby and last year became a significant force on the PGA Tour in his first season. O’Hair won $2.4 million and change, good for 18th place on the money list, a victory in the John Deere Classic and an unforgettable last-minute trip to St. Andrews for the British Open. The trip to one of the world’s best courses was amazing, both for Sean and the crowd who warmly embraced and saluted the quiet American with a standing ovation on the Open’s finishing hole.
A day after his victory, The John Deere Company, thanks to some frantic calls to Washington from PGA Commissioner Tim Finchem, arranged a first-time passport and off went Sean with caddie/father-in-law Steve Lucas.
Lucas, a successful businessman who agreed to caddie in 2005 because he “didn’t think I would have to work weekends,” hired a local knowledge caddy for a single practice round and then Sean, in his first major ever, went out and finished 15th just a few days after his 23rd birthday. He was in the top 10 going into the final round.
So what’s the secret to O’Hair’s game and what can you learn from it? For one thing, Sean believes that you should keep your wedges lower then you’re probably playing them now. Sky high balls are more vulnerable to the elements and while the wind may be calm down between the trees, remember that your ball sometimes flies above their protection. “We don’t play many PGA TOUR events where the wind is calm,” points out O’Hair. “It’s usually blowing 10 to 15 miles per hour, which makes higher ball flights vulnerable to being knocked off line.
Playing wedges is all about distance and controlling that distance for each shot. “Out here on Tour none of us are very far off as far as aim, it’s more a matter of distance,” O’Hair added. “For most full wedges I prefer more of a punch shot. By making the same swing I can increase the distance by 15 additional yards for each of the three wedges I carry. When I get juiced up under pressure 5 more yards are added.”
Like Vijay Singh, Fred Funk, Jim Furyk, Kenny Perry, and others who combined to win over $56 million on the 2005 PGA Tour, Sean has his clubs SST Pured in the traveling SST Tour lab. SST does not manufacture shafts; they make shafts perform better by computer analyzing each shaft and locating its most stable position to be inserted in the hosel. This can be done with current or new clubs. Longer, more accurate shots are the result.
All golfers have clubs in their bag they just don’t trust, because even with the same swing they don’t always perform up to expectations. All manufactured shafts have irregularities, and if randomly inserted in the clubhead, provide no insight into where the most stable point is. SST Puring their clubs allows the pros to have clubs that work with them, not against them. Distance gaps between clubs are important to pros and amateurs alike. SST Puring your shafts provides that distance gap by eliminating harmful shaft oscillations and increasing sweet spot hits.
The good news is that the very same SST Puring that the pros use is now available at Pete’s Golf Shop in Mineola. They have a license and the very same equipment used on the PGA TOUR to get your equipment on the road to helping your game. Call them at 516-248-6891.