Category Archives: pros

My Dad used to say, "Nothing succeeds like success". I'm sure you've heard the expression also. My interpretation is that the more you succeed the more you, and others, expect to see you succeed.

It is true in business and golf. A couple of examples.

Out for another round with my 7-year old grandson and this time he did much better. A strong, smooth swing was connecting more frequently and sending the ball long and straight (for a 7-year old). Every golfer's favourite swing result. On top of that he rammed a couple of 4 to 5-foot putts straight into the cup to the surprise of all of us watching and to his delight. He was so encouraged with his game that he insisted on going immediately to the driving range and practice green after our nine hole round. He was motivated.

I had a similar experience earlier this week in a rare round with my son-in-law. He is a very competitive former fullback with a vicious swing and a huge slice that he manages to keep in the fairway. We were both ready to impress each other. I got the better start.

Off the first tee, a short dogleg left downhill to a small well-bunkered green, I hit a perfect (for me) 5-iron that drew around the corner and ran down about 225 yards. Hit a full sandwedge about 100 yards and landed right side of the pin, then sank a curling 18-foot putt for birdie. I'm loving this course! (Son-in-law lost his drive in the trees and went downhill, literally, from there.)

The rest of my round was the usual roller coaster from par to triple bogey but I was not bothered after the great starting hole and the expectation by me and my playing partners that I was going to hit it well. That first hole just kept me confident and relaxed for the day and happy to come back soon.

The lesson learned was one often stated by the pros, "Keep visualizing your successes, not your failures, and that is what you are more likely to repeat."

I had the pleasure recently of visiting the Zurich Classic at TPC Louisiana. Aside from watching Mike Weir practicing huge flop shots from 30 feet to the hole, John Daly rolling them into the cup, and David Duval cranking long drives a mile off the fairway I also got to watch Retief Gooosen's smooth swing close up.

Almost too close.

It was the Pro-Am day and I was wandering away from the three amateurs playing with David Duval thinking "Money can buy you a ticket to play, but you can't buy class." It's not the first time I've seen amateurs break the rules of etiquette. Dropping cigarettes on the green, improving their lie in the rough (The worst offender was PM Jean Chretien at the Canadian Open with Tiger Woods. At one point Tiger offered him a tee.) But one idiot with David Duval couldn't resist getting on the cell phone (in spite of all the signs saying NO CELL PHONES) and boasting "Yeah, I'm actually playing in the Pro-Am with David Duval."

But as I rounded the corner and headed up the cart path towards the 10th tee I noticed some poor amateur way off the fairway across the cart path and under the trees about to hit the ball straight at me. Oops, that's no amateur, that's Retief Goosen! So I backed out of his way and watched his silky swing pick it off the pine needles and send it over the bunkers and trees right onto the green. These guys are good.

I have a video of Retief on the tee. It's a good image to keep in mind next time I'm setting up to tee off.