Boys golf: Swing adjustment helps Petterson make stateAt one time Red Wing’s Matthew Petterson would exhaust himself during a round of golf by over-thinking or getting down on himself.
By: Ryan Hill, The Republican Eagle
At one time Red Wing’s Matthew Petterson would exhaust himself during a round of golf by over-thinking or getting down on himself.
“I was just wearing myself out,” he said. “I was trying to concentrate the whole five hours when really you only need to concentrate before and during when you’re hitting your shot.”
Without such adjustments it’s hard to imagine him surviving the crucible that was the Section 1AA tournament. The junior had to endure eight hours of golf in the blistering heat of the Section 1AA Tournament, which included a sudden-death playoff against Nic Jensen of Rochester Lourdes, just to qualify for state.
Petterson will compete at the Class AA state golf tournament in Jordan, Minn., starting Wednesday.
Physical adjustments were just as important in earning the state berth.
“I had been working through a couple swing changes,” Petterson said. “I had a reverse weight shift, so I was shifting forward in my backswing, which is not anything what you want to do.”
Petterson also noted he played around with his grip throughout the season as well.
“You don’t want to go too deep into making changes in somebody’s swing during the season,” said Todd Petterson, Matthew’s coach and father. “You pretty much have to go with the swing you came into the season with.”
Todd Petterson said this is one of the few times he has made such significant changes to one of his players’ swings in his over 20 years of coaching. He said it has such a high potential of doing more harm than good.
“It backfires more often than it doesn’t,” Todd Petterson said.
Although the weight shift problem is fairly common, according to Red Wing girls golf coach Mark Herzog, the time it takes to fix the mistake can cause trouble and requires some patience.
“Your muscles, over time, start to memorize the correct move. And you can’t go on Day 1 and all of a sudden on Day 2 you have it,” Herzog said. “It’s kind of a process.”
Herzog said the constant process of dealing with the slight change in weight distribution quite possibly was to blame for some of Matthew’s inconsistency issues.
With all of these changes falling into place and the inconsistency problems fading away, he peaked at just the right time.
In the sudden-death playoff, Jensen won the coin toss and elected to tee off first. He hit his drive way left while Matthew Petterson hit his straight. Matthew Petterson’s ball rolled about a foot into the rough, but it was in good position on the dogleg right hole. Jensen, because of his errant drive, had all the pressure pointed his way.
“I think (Jensen) was a little more nervous,” Petterson said, who thought his own nerves remained calm until he got to the green.
The state tournament at at Ridges at Sand Creek doesn’t figure to be much easier.
“The thing about this course is there’s probably five or six holes where there’s a real premium on approach shots,” Herzog said while also mentioning the many water hazards. “Penalty shots can add up in a hurry.”
It sounds, though, like Matthew Petterson is more focused on just soaking in the experience and having fun.
“I mean, there’s not like a spot I’m trying to get, like fourth in state or 20th in state or anything like that,” Matthew said. “I think the biggest thing is to go and be happy with how I play.”