Readers are always telling me they enjoy the words of golfing wisdom I source for this column from time to time.
Here is one from legendary golf coach, Pete Cowan, probably because it is so true: “Age eventually makes every golfer look ordinary”
Even Tiger Woods has looked ordinary throughout 2019 apart from one week in April.
4-hour+ rounds are not good. 3-hours is plenty. 2-hours would be better! In my youth, I regularly played 36-holes in 4.5-hours but that isn’t feasible anymore due to ‘traffic’ and the ever-increasing length of golf courses.
A shorter-flying golf ball that spins more would lead to shorter courses, shorter rounds and cheaper, more accessible golf.
“Never to be lost sight of in the construction and upkeep of a golf course: no matter where the ball comes to rest a player should have a chance to swing the club and hit the ball” - Robert Hunter
“It is regrettable that score has become a standard for the ingenuity of a golfer and a golf course. Score is an insensitive indicator. Golf is a recreation and a pastime; not solely or primarily a competitive game. The tail is wagging the dog when the competitive side of golf dominates the recreational side” - Michael Hurzdan
One group of golfers playing through another should be a simple matter. The law governing objects in motion is easy enough for even the densest to comprehend. Faster gets to go ahead of slower...in golf, however, playing through is anything but straightforward.
Pro golfers are more 'score-efficient' and tidy. They don't make big mistakes. They do the simple things very well and they do it all of the time.
“The biggest liar in the world is the golfer who claims that he plays the game merely for exercise” - Tommy Bolt
“The main benefit of playing 9-holes is it is so much easier to find the time to do it” - Bob Rotella.
Talent is a blessing, but exceptional things can happen with minimal talent. Here are a dozen things that require "Zero Talent":
1-Enthusiasm & Passion. 2-Being Prepared. 3-Positive Attitude. 4-Persistence. 5-Being Coachable & Willing. 6-Listening. 7-Honesty/Integrity. 8-Showing Up on time. 9-Doing Extra-Effort. 10-Being Energetic. 11-Being willing. 12-Fearlessness.
You can go a long way in this world with that dozen and if you don't have them - all the talent in the world won't help you.
“Age is just a number. It is all in the mind. I work out four or five times a week. I stretch, work my core with crunches and sit-ups, do various dumbbell exercises, squats, heavy leg press, and I always end with sprints on the treadmill, so my mind can tell my body I am still capable of running fast. You have to keep moving” - Gary Player (84)
“Trees are undoubtedly charming features in a landscape view, but they are not the best of golf hazards. They afford but slight and fluky opportunities for the display of skill in extricating the ball from their clutches”. - H.S. COLT
“Any product claiming to be a 'golf secret' is a sales technique designed to panic you into thinking there are mystical answers, which there are not” - Nick Bradley
“I’ve come across enough successful people in my life to know that the best in whatever walk of life you choose are the ones who work the hardest. If I want to be the best and fulfill my potential, I’ll have to do the same thing” - Rory McIlroy
“It must be remembered the great majority of golfers are aiming to record their best score ever, first, last and all the time, and if any one of them arrives at the home teeing ground with this possibility in reach, he doesn't care two hoots whether he drives off from beside an ancient, majestic oak or an open sewer. If the round ends happily it is one beautiful course. Such is human nature” - A.W. Tillinghast
“The hardest thing to learn is how to lose gracefully. Accepting the bad with the good however much it hurts inside - smile and keep a stiff upper lip. Shake the hand of the man who has beaten you, tell him congratulations and mean it” - Jack Nicklaus
Golf video games decrease the chances of getting a young person to play golf.
Hitting a ball smoothly down a real fairway is so much harder to do than on a virtual one and they don't have to walk after it carrying a heavy bag of clubs on their back either.
“There is no shape nor size of body, no awkwardness nor ungainliness, which puts good golf beyond reach. There are good golfers with spectacles, with one eye, with one leg, even with one arm” - Walter Simpson
All of the criticism being thrown at the slow-coach golfer, Bryson DeChambeau, is justified. The novelty of his geometric approach to his pre-shot routine has worn off.
About half of all golfers never break 100, less than a quarter ever break 90, and only five percent ever break 80.
Golf is not an easy game. The steps you have to make to advance from complete beginner status to holding your own in a club handicap competition, playing for your province, playing for your country and, finally playing golf for a living are all big steps.
They are hard work.