Billy Horschel admits he was ‘an idiot.’ Then he and his caddie talked.
We’ll try to keep this simple. Billy Horschel, after all, wishes he would have.
You see, the veteran pro says he has a process. And so good, he says, is his process that “everyone has told me on my team for years, when I have that, I’m able to make better golf swings on a regular basis.” Then Horschel and his caddie went away from the process for a couple weeks. And Team Horschel finished 68th at the PGA Championship two weeks ago. And missed the cut at the Charles Schwab Challenge last week.
We know what you may be thinking, and a reporter asked it Saturday at the Memorial.
“You know what works, but yet you kind of got away from it. Why is that?”
“Yeah, I’m an idiot for not doing what I need to do on a regular basis,” Horschel said.
Simple enough. Though, as those of us who have gotten away from our own “processes” know, while the answers are easy to explain afterward, they aren’t necessarily in the moment. It’s the whole hindsight being 20/20 thing. And so it was with Horschel and caddie Mark Fulcher. We’ll jump ahead and tell you that they won this week, by an impressive four shots at Muirfield Village, no less, but it took a “conversation” to get there.
We’ll start by defining his process. Horschel is, shall we say, one of the more energized pros out there, so he says he needs a second or 15 before a shot. Talk it through. Check the yardage. Check the wind. Pick the club. Feel right. Then hit.
“So usually even though I may be carrying on a conversation with somebody, I’m very aware of where my golf ball is, I’m very aware where the pin is, I’m very aware where I need to put the ball on the green and where I may need to miss it if I don’t hit a great golf shot,” he said. “That’s why sometimes when I get a number, I just grab a club right away and sort of have an idea of the shot I want to hit and then I go. We talk real quick, and it’s gone. …
“It’s just giving ourselves 10 to 15 extra seconds before I pull away and then he tries to — he’ll try to chime in and sometimes I’ll shoo him away unfortunately.”
And that’s kind of it. Somewhere along the way, the process got a little too jumpy. And the thought of ready, aim, fire more or less took out the middle word.
“I mean, I’m sure I’m going to shock everyone when I say this: I move very quick, and I’m impatient, and so I’m ready to go without always being clear on everything,” Horschel said. “Sometimes I just want to get the golf shot over with.
“Yes, am I an idiot for not doing what I know works every time? Yes. But I need to do a better job of it. If I’m going to win the golf tournaments I want to win, and I feel like I can win, then I need to do a better job of it on a daily, weekly basis, especially when it comes to the bigger events.”
So after the Charles Schwab, they talked. Horschel’s idea.
No, he wasn’t blaming his bag man, he said. But player and caddie had a player-and-caddie kind of talk.
What are we doing?
We know the process.
Let’s get back to it.
You know the result.
“Fooch does a really good job, and Fooch tries, and sometimes I’m short and I don’t want to listen,” Horschel said. “Like I said, shocking.
“Yes, I mean, Fooch has done an unbelievable job of trying to do the right things, and sometimes we just move a little too quick. We’re not very clear enough on everything we need to do, and so that falls on me, not on Fooch. Like I said, we had a conversation after Colonial, and we just said, we need to get back to it.
“There was a couple times where I’ve tried maybe a little quick this week, and he’s sort of pulled me back, and there’s other times where we thought we had the shot and then I wasn’t sort of fully committed and I backed off and we talked about it a little bit more to make sure we were hitting the right shot with the right club and doing things to give ourselves the chance to succeed.
“Yeah, Fooch is great. It’s all on me at the end of the day.”
Will it all last? Who’s to say? The U.S. Open is next, and U.S. Opens aren’t easy.
Then again, this process isn’t difficult.
‘Like I said, just taking 10, 15 extra seconds, that’s all it really comes down to over the shots before we hit it, and that’s all it’s come down to,” Horschel said.
“It’s very simple.”