Tuesday, April 14, 2009

When Angel Cabrera put on that green jacket Sunday, he joined a select group: multiple major winners.  We've had a lot of one-time major winners, but guys with more than one are rare talents. The best things you can take away from watching Angel have nothing to do with his swing, and everything to do with his mind. We all know golf is a mental game, and what won Angel his first Masters title was his perseverance and patience.Angel-cabrera-top100_300 Angel showed a lot of fortitude the final nine as he clearly hit the ball much worse than either Chad Campbell or Kenny Perry. Loose iron shots into 15 and 18 as well as poor drives on 17 and the first playoff hole put him in a tough spot and he needed Kenny to back up at the end to give him a chance. This perseverance and patience is something I am sure he learned while growing up in Argentina without the opportunities to pursue the game and his dreams that most of us take for granted. When Cabrera was lying 2 about 130 yards from the green in the playoff, with Kenny and Chad waiting to play their approach shots, I couldn't envision how he was going to stay in the match. Yet, he prevailed with an amazing up and down and two solid shots on the final playoff hole.But even with patience and perseverance, you still need to make shots. Did you notice how creative Cabrera was on the short chips to get close on 15, 17 and 18? Try to think about the different options you have in your short-game shots. Your creativity can be a powerful weapon on the course.Also, Cabrera showed why you should develop all the shots: the hard slice he hit into 18 on Saturday from the edge of the trees and the draw approach shot into 17 showed an ability to work the ball both ways when the situation called for it. He also was able to cut his approach shot into the 10th hole during the playoff and leave himself under the hole for a very easy two putt and victory. His mental fortitude to be able to also roll in the short par putts on 17,18 and the two playoff holes are a testament to his character and passion.Cabrera's mechanics are not your typical for the modern Tour player. However, there are many things to learn from him, most notably his ability to get tremendous rotation in each direction with his body turn. He really loads up his torso with a big turn and his "back at the target" for a full coil. On the downswing, he then retains a big wrist angle into impact for maximum leverage and power. Cabrera's large advantage among his peers is his strength and power. This guy can dominate a course with sheer power. Pay attention to your full coil and how keeping your downswing arc narrow with a full wrist angle and completely unleash all your loaded energy into impact and the ball.(Photo: Simon Bruty/SI)Brian Mogg is director of instruction at the Brian Mogg Performance
Center at Golden Bear Golf Club at Keene's Point, Windermere, Fla.

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