Huntington native Michael Lardon, a psychiatrist and clinical professor in San Diego, said, "Golf is democratic in that the average player goes through the same mental struggles a professional does." As an antidote, he has just written a book, "Mastering Golf's Mental Game," that draws on experiences and observations he has compiled since he was a kid, taking lessons from Mike Joyce at Huntington Country Club.
Much of his material comes from his time caddying for his brother Brad on the PGA Tour. For instance, he did an informal study confirming that golfers who are more consistent with their pre-shot routines do better under pressure.
Lardon shares a system called the Mental Scorecard, named by Phil Mickelson, who wrote the foreword to the book, in which he says he used the program to overcome disappointment from the 2013 U.S. Open to win the 2013 British Open. Mickelson also took table tennis lessons from Lardon, a world-class youth player.
The book will be released in September and concludes with these words: "By sharing these fundamentals, I hope you shoot lower scores, but more importantly, I hope you get more enjoyment out of the game."
A pro takes to Long Island
Ben Polland first came to Long Island in 2010 as a college intern, part of the PGA Management program at Campbell University in North Carolina. The Minnesota native worked at Sebonack, then moved on to Deepdale and became sure he was in the right place.
"The Met Section has the best players, the best tournaments. Darrell Kestner, Rick Hartmann, Bobby Heins, Rick Vershure: the great pros are all great players, too," said Polland, now 23 and an assistant pro at Deepdale. "I'm in a great spot to put down roots. Everybody here wants me to play."
Polland wants to make a career of playing golf and he took a big step in that direction this week when he won the Metropolitan Professional Championship at Brae Burn in Westchester, using a solid driving week to go 8 under for three rounds. He qualified for next year's national professional tournament, which offers spots in the PGA Championship.
This week, he will play in the New York State Open. It will be held Tuesday through Thursday at Bethpage Black, open to the public, admission is free. Tee times and groupings can be found at www.met.pga.com.
Glassman's double eagle
Karen Glassman, a member at Hampton Hills for 20 years and a club champion three times, last Sunday made an albatross, a hole-in-one on the par-4 sixth hole. She used a driver from the 230-yard tee. Club pro Jack McGown said the Double Eagle Club estimates that the odds of the par-4 ace by a female golfer are more than 6,000,000 to 1 -- only 52 have been reported, 35 of them by professionals.
Fact of the week
Follow up on the report on golfer Ed Palkot of Garden City, who turns 101 next month (courtesy of his son Greg, Fox News Channel senior foreign correspondent): 1913, the year of Ed's birth, was a conspicuous one for golf. It was when young amateur Francis Ouimet won the U.S. Open, having been invited after the USGA president saw him play the U.S. Amateur at Garden City Golf Club.