I turned toward the voice and found Wes Short Jr. looking at me and grinning. After exchanging some greetings and settling into a conversation, I congratulated him on his success during his first year on the Champions tour, which included a victory and winning almost a million dollars in official money earnings.
During the course of the conversation he revealed that he had played well, particularly in the later part of the season and was excited about the upcoming year.
It turns out that some equipment changes and swing changes have him hitting the ball farther and straighter. And he is putting well. He has switched to Callaway irons and driver and likes the way the irons are going through the turf, the size and shape of the divots. And, although the irons are bent to add one degree of loft, he is hitting them farther as well as straighter. And, he is hitting the driver in the fairway. All those are good things.
With respect to the putting, he went to a slightly longer putter so he could stand up straighter and take some pressure off his back. In doing so it changed his eye line and it took some time to adjust. But, now he is locked into it and says he is putting the short putts better than ever and that is really helping his confidence.
Asked about the swing changes he commented that he worked with his instructor during the 2014 season to get the club more in front of him. To do so he is keeping the club head out on the backswing while the hands come back slightly inside. This makes the swing slightly more rounded but it keeps the club more in front of him and he is more on top of the ball during the downswing rather than having the club trapped behind him. The changes seemed to have worked well.
During the off season he’s been playing a couple of times a week but not practicing much. However, when he plays he’s playing well and recording scores mostly in the mid to high 60’s. So he feels good about his game. His health is good and his back is pain free.
The next event will be the tournament of champions in Hawaii in mid January and he is looking forward to that event.
Congratulations on a great season and good luck next year. Austin is proud of and happy for Wes Short Jr.