Blog: Why Brett Rumford has the best short game on TourMay, 2013
The Australian headlines Robert Rock's all-time composite golfer
It is pretty easy to say who one of the most in-form players on the European Tour is at the moment.
Brett Rumford’s first win for six years in Korea was quickly followed by another, this time in China and it goes to show how things can turn very quickly.
There is not much doubt where Brett’s great skill lies; his short game is incredible and I have picked his brains on the subject many times. His passion for this part of the game is second to none and he will spend hours and hours working things out for himself and coming up with new shots.
A lot of us practise our chipping a lot but he really stands out.
There isn’t a lot different technique wise but he seems to have an awful lot more freedom when playing the shot and he has different spins for different shots.
He’s the only player I’ve seen who can hit hooks and fades out of bunkers! I don’t know whether he does it in tournaments but he can certainly do it in practice and he can seemingly get to any pin.
When he does stop playing competitively he would be inundated with short-game requests if he ever wanted to become a coach.
He concentrated a lot with me on getting the set-up right – I have had issues trying to get in the right position to start with but he always looks like he is going to make the right contact.
Mentally he is also great around the greens, he knows he can hole out from most spots and would expect to chip in a couple of times a round and that is all down to hard work.
If I was making up a composite golfer from players on the European Tour then Brett would certainly be my choice around the greens.
Off the tee I would have Lee Westwood. He makes it look very easy and I can barely remember him getting hitting a very wayward drive. Lee hits a fairly neutral flight and is plenty long enough.
He’s the only player I’ve seen who can hit hooks and fades out of bunkers! I don’t know whether he does it in tournaments but he can certainly do it in practice. Otherwise Sergio Garcia would push him pretty close while Richard Sterne is also very impressive off the tee.
I would have to go with Nick Faldo with the irons, his control was incredible and he could hit it both ways very easily and you would never expect him to hit a poor iron. Most players favour one shape or the other but he could do both reliably.
I haven’t played with Sergio but people say his ball striking is something else and his driving would also be up there with Lee’s.
On his day Jose Maria Olazabal would be pretty close to Faldo but if I could have anyone pitch it for me it would be Olly.
There are a lot of amazing putters on the European Tour and if you’re not averaging under 30 putts a round then you are losing some ground.
Everyone practises this part of the game so much now and I would spend the majority of my time in practice rounds working on my putting.
Ian Poulter and Luke Donald are the obvious ones but I’ll go with Jamie Donaldson who rolls it pretty good on his day. David Howell is another who has a great set-up and can make things look very easy.
Mentally I think Francesco Molinari is very impressive. He is so reliable tee to green and doesn’t seem to get frustrated by not holing as many putts as some do. He doesn’t have many off days too.
My strength now probably lies with the irons and hopefully people think I’m OK at this side of things.
I used to consider myself as a pretty good driver of the ball but less so now, I have my moments when I drive it well but I’m not as consistent as when I was younger.
My ball flight is a bit lower than some so I get some yardage when it’s on a links-type terrain.
It just needs to land on something firm in the first place.