Thursday, July 08, 2010

Golf Chokers - Gary Player speaks on then and now.

As we age the perception of the following generation of golfers and their quality and character starts to cross our minds. Yes, times have changed well Doh!? The obvious statement is truly stupid, Time does not stop and evolving technology has changed the face of golf and the people who play it now, depending on their age some players can remember playing with Woods that were clubs made of wood, not the No. 1 Golfer of the time. The first metal drivers coming on to the scene in the 1980's as well as the iron revolution from PING and the end of having to play with blades as virtually the only choice of iron.

Gary Player a true champion of golf has delivered his views on the topic in his most recent book and following is an excerpt of an interview  and the link to the fuull transcript...

 Gary Player talks Tiger, mental toughness and how he stays fit at age 74
The 74-year-old nine-time major champion has written a new book, Don't Choke: A Champion's Guide to Winning Under Pressure.

Most pro athletes hate to even say the word choke. You wrote a book about it. Why?

I've done about 14 or 15 books in my career, and it's mostly been on theory. And so I thought, is theory really the important thing? You look at Trevino — he takes the club outside the line, and he's shut. Palmer takes it back, and he's shut. Nicklaus takes it upright with a flying right elbow. Hogan took it back on the perfect plane. Snead took it back inside and up. You have all these different swings. So what makes a champion is certainly not the swing. The swing is not the thing. It's what's upstairs.

Look at me. I was small, I had to travel and I had great difficulties to compete on the Tour. I was far from home, and I saw a lot of demonstrations against me because I was from South Africa. There was a lot of adversity.

In the book you say that you never choked. How did you avoid it?

I really believe that when you're young, the difficulties you've encountered are to your advantage. When I was young my mother died when I was 8. My father worked in a gold mine 12,000 feet underground. My brother went off to fight alongside the Americans in World War II. So I said to myself "when I play one day — and I never said if, I said when, — one thing I'll never be is scared to win. Most of the time when I was playing in these big championships, when I had a chance to win, I won. I can honestly say I never lost a tournament because I flat choked. The thing is, after what I'd gone through,

subconsciously I said, man, this playing in a golf tournament is Mickey Mouse compared to what I'd gone through as a young person. The worst thing you can do is to start thinking about the trophy, or the check, or the fame that you'll get out of the experience.

Are young players today softer than they were in your era?

Young people today are coming along at a different time. [Many are] obese — 26 percent of the youth, 55 percent of the grownups … how do you go into life and excel? You cannot obtain success unless you're in good condition mentally, physically and have a positive attitude.

I look at the Tour now, and there are all these international players coming in and taking over. What is the reason? You know what is? I think, we live in this great country of milk and honey. You think there's a sense of entitlement. We've got to get people to get back to the grindstone

Thankyou for your time and attention, Geoff

GOLF - Documentary filming starts today

8th July 2010 Today is the first day of shooting of the Golf Documentary I have developed after 9 months of pre-production work. The preparation has been enjoyable, a little more so than usual as this included playing a lot of golf. Which may be an understatement and I fully intend to play a lot more golf in the coming months of filming as well. Movie production can even be seen as an analogy for developing your own golf game, doing a little bit at a time to produce the finished product. There are a lot of little bits to be done in the coming months to craft the completed film and it will be as much fun as playing golf.

This week has not been as concentrated on playing and practising that has been the way of late. Preparing for shooting today did take up a bit of my golf course time. Managed to get out for a casual hit on Tuesday and play 9 holes on Wednesday which showed again that it is a good thing to have a break from practice and playing all of the time. Hitting four of nine greens in regulation was very satisfying, not getting any birdies was not too much of a concern. Did not putt well either, finished up with 16 putts in a score of 42 with a couple of very scrappy pitches as well. The focus in coming weeks is on the short game for me to have any further progression down the handicap numbers. Now playing off 20 and taking 6 months to get there has been entertaining, it was also a requirement to be able to start shooting the film so the added motivation I am sure did help in reaching the target.

This coming weekend is the second round of the John Leake Trophy a best of three competition I won the first round and will be putting in a concentrated effort to keep in the lead Sunday. Being a Stableford competition does suit higher handicappers if they are on song and playing well. It is particularly favourable to the mid 20’s player who is on the path to the high teens and can come in with pars and birdies on those holes where they get 2 strokes. I only get two of those now, but scoring 3 points for a par is a just as effective in coming in with a near 40+ total and that will be just fine. Thankyou for your time and attention. “Hit ‘em straight all” Geoff