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Why is Jim Furyk smiling? Well you would smile too if you had just shot a 12 under par round of 59 in a very important tour event at a very important time in the season, the Fed Ex Cup Playoffs.
Can you imagine shooting a 12 under par round in an important tournament on one of the most challenging courses on the PGA Tour?
Jim Furyk is not your conventional orthodox tour golfer like Adam Scott who seems to swing the club perfectly and play just as good.
No, Jim Furyk has a golf swing that has been described by members of the media as "an octopus falling out of a tree" which is quite ironic when you consider his outstanding playing record.
Yes Jim Furyk is the very same golfer who year in and year out makes a high percentage of cuts and earns enough money to retain his playing privileges on the PGA Tour.
He's been doing it for more than twenty years!
So what is it about Jim Furyk's game that makes him so consistent and what can you learn that will help you to play as consistently?
Lets have a look at what's under the hood and discover what makes Jim Furyk such a great golfer. I can tell you categorically that it's not his length off the tee!
The longest he has averaged in any year was in 2011 at 281.4 yards or 256 metres (ranked 164th) and in 1996 he averaged 265 yards (ranked 102).
He has consistently ranked between 150th to 180th throughout his career in driving distance off the tee..
I have broken his 20 year PGA Tour career up into five year segments and isolated the key statistics that have enabled Furyk to maintain his year in year out low scoring average.
The stand out statistics are his driving accuracy and his scrambling game from within 30 yards of the edge of the green.
His consistent low scoring average has allowed him to win US $55,750,658 million in career earnings, one US Open (Major) and twenty six professional titles since he turned professional in 1992.
You will see in the table below that apart from his 1st two years (1994 & 1995) his ranking in both categories (driving accuracy and scrambling) have been phenomenal. The numbers are the average percentages and ranking for each 5 year segment
The only time he had a hiccup in his career was in 2004 when he underwent surgery to repair damaged cartilage in his wrist, and that restricted him to playing only 14 tournaments that year and as you can imagine his statistics also suffered temporarily.
Jim Furyk's Master Skill is Scoring Ability
Since 1997 his scoring average has gone over 70 on only four occasions and on each occasion only just over.
This is exceptional, and it's also the reason why he won the Vardon trophy (awarded for low score average) on the PGA Tour in 2006, and he was awarded Player of the Year in 2010 by his peers.
Consider this; he won the Las Vegas Invitational in 1995 and 1998 with a combined total of - 58 under par!! That's an average of 7.25 under par for the eight rounds!
So it shouldn't surprise anyone when during the FedEx Cup at the BMW Championship he compiled that magnificent score of 59 and is only the 6th player to do so on the USPGA Tour.
Again another player that does not have the "perfect swing," but what he has is the most important skill you can develop - your low score ability.
This is the reason he has had an awesome 20 year playing career up to this point.
And he isn't finished yet, that's for sure, as Jim Furyk will keep finding ways to keep getting better.
David Milne and Lawrie Montague - Pro Tour Golf College
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