Rookie Scouting Portfolio contributor Mark Schofield demonstrates an example of “feel” in the pocket with a play from New York Jets passer, Teddy Bridgewater.
I have never considered myself to be a good golfer. Or even a passable golfer. But I have gone through stretches where I at least considered myself a serious golfer.
I would play every weekend, sometimes twice. I would try the latest and greatest gadgets, whether they were new clubs, putters, driving irons, or anything I could get my hands on. I still get Golf Digest delivered each month, even though I have yet to play this summer.
Back when I was playing frequently I would play with the same group of guys, all who approached the game with a similar level of fervor but with varying levels of ability. One afternoon, my game was actually as good as it gets, and on a particular Par 4 hole, I had managed to drive nearly to the end of the fairway, right down the middle. Position A, as the kids like to call it.
Of course, my foursome was armed nearly to the teeth with all the golf gadgets you could think of, so I began calling out for advice. More specifically, a yardage from where my lie was, to the pin. Our cart was outfitted with a GPS so I checked there, as well as on my smartphone app which worked as a golf course GPS locator. Another friend of mine had a laser scope so he pulled that out of his pocket to give me another yardage. I checked the on-course markers in the fairway.
But a little bit ahead of me was another friend, a former Division-1 pitcher who lived with the golf players at his college while in school and had worked himself into nearly a scratch golfer. As would happen on most holes, he had nearly driven the green and was looking at a long putt off the putting surface for an eagle on a Par 4.
As he walked away, he implored me: “Put all that crap away. This isn’t about distance. It’s about feel.”
Feel is one of those ubiquitous terms we hear during draft season, whether it is a quarterback showing a feel for the pocket or underneath coverage. But it is often hard to pin down an exact definition. However, it is important to identify this trait, as it can mean the difference between a good quarterback…and a great one.
One of many criticisms facing Josh Allen was his lack of feel, whether for the pocket or for underneath coverage.
In this example from 2015, we see Teddy Bridgewater showing great feel, for both the pocket and the underneath coverage:
Sometimes, as we see in this video, feel can make a huge difference.
Oh, and if you were wondering, my feel was actually pretty good on my approach shot, which I chipped to within five feet of the hole for a makeable birdie putt, which I indeed made. I should have ended my golf career then and there, but that is a story for another time.
For more college, NFL, and NFL draft analysis like this, subscribe to the RSP site and receive notifications of the latest post via email. Scroll to the bottom of this page and simply enter your email address.