Charl: It's all in the mind

2011-04-12 07:49
Charl Schwartzel (Gallo)

Johannesburg - South African Charl Schwartzel's biggest asset is the unhurried and clear-thinking way he plots his way around the golf course, the US Masters champion's swing guru said on Monday.

"Charl's big talent is in his mind," Hendrik Buhrmann told Reuters. "He was not at all rushed in that final round at Augusta on Sunday, even after he had won you heard how slowly he spoke.

"He was also hitting the ball with beautiful balance and control, it was lovely to watch."

Buhrmann, 47, has been a player on the Sunshine and Asian tours for 25 years but will now be known as the man who fine-tuned Schwartzel's swing in the run-up to his two-shot win at the Masters.

The 26-year-old was struggling with his action before the Joburg Open in January and called Buhrmann for help on the eve of the tournament.

"Having a chat with Hendrik made all the difference," said Schwartzel after winning the European Tour event in Johannesburg. "My swing had not been good for quite a while but I phoned Hendrik and said I needed him.

"He came out and gave me some really good advice. He had video footage of me in Singapore a year back when I was playing really well. He compared the two and there were quite a few things out of place."

Buhrmann, who will concentrate more now on his coaching than on a playing career that brought him nine professional wins, said his work with Schwartzel was nothing drastic.

"I don't want to take anything away from Charl, who has worked so hard, or his dad, who provided him with the basics of his swing," he said.

"My work with Charl was simple, the swing is all about foundation and posture, about ensuring your weight stays in the right place. You need to be in the right position in the sequence of the swing.

"Sometimes a golfer has the right moves but they're in the wrong sequence," added Buhrmann.

"Charl has a very good understanding of his swing, that's what really makes him world class. If you don't understand your technique yourself then you can't take advice, absorb the good and dump the bad."

Triple major winner Ernie Els spotted Schwartzel's talent as a junior and enrolled him in his foundation which develops talented young golfers in South Africa.

"Ernie's given some fantastic Masters performances in the past but a couple of times it's been stolen from his hands," said Schwartzel of the 1994 and 1997 US Open winner and 2002 British Open champion.

"I never thought I would be putting on a Green Jacket before him, not in a million years," the South African said after finishing with four straight birdies on Sunday to land his first major victory.

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