Two weeks back I had an interesting conversation with Mike Weir for a feature I’m working on about the 20th anniversary of the Skins game. As is often the case with Weir, that conversation led to other things and inevitably questions about how he’s doing. The answer — struggling, and I’d suspect that’s still the case despite opening yesterday with a 1-under score. He’s still not hitting any fairways, and his round is being held together by a world class short game.
Weir recognizes this — and is seeking help. I’m not sure if it worked out, but he was meeting with former tour player Grant Waite the day he spoke with me. Waite works with Plummer and Bennett, the instructors known for stack and tilt, and Weir is going to try to devise a strategy with Waite. Anyway, here are some of his remarks from that interview.
G4G: The game looks like a struggle at the moment.
Weir: I can tell it is not where I want it to be. I might throw a round in here or there, but it is not sustainable for four rounds. I’m making a few changes. That’s why I’m meeting with Grant.
G4G: Doesn’t he work with Mike and Andy?
Weir: He has…He believes a lot of what they teach. We’re going to have a talk about things to get perspective on what I’ve been chasing. I have to be honest and it isn’t working. I’m trying to capture those feels and it isn’t there. I used to put a lot of cup in my right wrist and I can’t do that any more. I need a new direction – something fresh and new. Chasing that down is not been beneficial and is getting worse. He believes a lot of what they teach. He’s a great ball striker. I’ve talked to him before and always liked his ideas. Being a former player he knows how much a player can handle. It has to be incrementally chipping away and having an overall plan. My plan is still long term – I’m still very motivated. I just need to see progression.
G4G: It sounds like you’re being realistic about your issue…
Weir: I try to hold my hat on some of the rounds I’ve had, but if I think about it those rounds are marred by poor shots but held together by my short game and some crazy shots. That is not how I want to play. I don’t want to scramble to shoot 72. I’m just not seeing the progress I think I should be saying. There’s no question I’m frustrated, but I’m still optimistic. It is a challenge. Until that motivation goes away I’m not giving up. I’m very motivated – I still want it and am eager to put in the hours it takes to get back. I believe – I don’t care what anyone else believes – I believe. I believe I can still play great golf. I need to sort out a few things but I’m not that far away. I can get on a little bit of a different path and start moving forward.
G4G: Is the driver the biggest problem?
Weir: The driver is the most exaggerated. But overall ball striking hasn’t been good. Even my irons. It isn’t as sharp as I need it to be. My game needs to be a precision game. The way I got to the top was hitting a lot of fairways and being dynamite from 150 yards and in. That was then this is now, but that’s the type of player I need to be. That’s why I’m seeking to make changes, because it is difficult. But I’m a grinder. I spent six years on the Canadian Tour and if you don’t give up there, you’re not giving up. It helps you find answers. You beat your head against the wall you’re going to make some changes – and hopefully the right changes.