Scott talks grip key, offseason practice spot

Adam Scott keys on his left-hand position in his golf grip; here he is shown during the 2013 Australian World Cup of Golf.

Adam Scott keys on his left-hand position in his golf grip; here he is shown during the 2013 Australian World Cup of Golf.

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In a stretch of impressive play that is entering its fourth year, two things have been present in Adam Scott’s game: His casual peek toward his left hand before he gets into position to swing, and his practice grounds in the Bahamas.

First, it starts with the grip. Feeling his was too strong, Scott and his instructor, Brad Malone, started working a few years ago on weakening it. “But it went back strong,” he said. “So six months into working with Brad, we set up this new routine, to keep (the grip) neutral.”

When you watch Scott, you’ll see him stand behind the ball and glance down at his left hand. It confirms that the grip is proper and sort of kick-starts his pre-shot underway.

As for Albany on New Providence Island in the Bahamas, Scott spends a lot of time there. While the weather, the beach, the food, the accommodations, and the Ernie Els-designed golf course are hard-to-resist attractions, let it be known that the Aussie spends a lot of time at work when he’s there. And with pleasure, too, because he raves about the practice facility.

“Phenomenal. It’s why I’m there. It’s world-class,” said Scott. “It’s no coincidence that since I’ve been spending time there the last 2 1/2 years, my game has elevated. It’s one of those places where you could stand all day and hit balls.”

Since 2011, Scott has made 52 PGA Tour starts: He has has won three times, been second or third six times, inside the top 25 in 33 of them, and in the money 47 times.

For the next two weeks, Scott will do more than put down the clubs; he will try and shut golf completely out of his world.

He discovered that after the Australian Open – where he took a one-stroke lead into the last hole but made bogey to Rory McIlroy’s birdie and lost by one – putting down the clubs wasn’t enough.

“I took 10-12 days off golf, (but) I was thinking about it (the whole time). I was mad that I had lost the tournament,” said Scott, “and I was thinking about what I was going to do to get ready for (Hawaii). So I really didn’t switch off (of golf).”

For the first time in his career, Scott said, he’s finding it difficult to shut out the game – for a healthy reason, though. “When you’re playing nicely, as I have been for quite a while now, you want to keep your head in it, because you’re loving it.”

Read all of senior writer Jim McCabe's notes from pro golf this week right here.

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