Connect with us

Opinion & Analysis

Read about Justin Rose’s putting coach, David Orr



In and of itself, the structure is unremarkable.

The dimensions of the building are of smallish proportion and the concrete block is in need of pressure washed scrutiny; at the base of the front awning, the numerals of the address plate hang in a casual state of limbo.

But as with most things, the exterior counts for little; for it is inside, just a step over the threshold, where some of the game’s finest players are redefining their approach to putting.

Scrawled in varying degrees of penmanship, and occupying a corner section of David Orr’s Buies Creek, N.C., putting studio, are the signatures of some of the world’s most prominent touring professionals.

More so than a novelty, they diagram the current needle position of a career arc remarkably polished, yet completely unfinished.

Rose. Molinari. Castro. Wi. Cheyenne Woods. A global consortium, if you will — one that stretches from North Carolina to Asia, and all points in between.

The wall is a unique tableau — only full-field entrants in golf’s major championships and those exempt on worldwide professional tours may leave their mark — and is the constellation matrix of Orr’s career in the game of golf. It represents 23 years of diligent research, practical application and sustained personal relationships.

He clearly laments the facility’s untidy appearance, but his students prefer it this way. “They really love it,” he explains. “I’ve been told not to change a thing.”

And whether by Gulfstream V or Ford Taurus, his students arrive to stand their post in Orr’s lifelong battle against, in his words, “being average.”

If the modern game is synonymous with cozy lifestyles, posh settings and uncommon perks, Orr’s sanctuary represents its raw antithesis. Amidst a stockade of old putter models and diagnostic tools, commitment is reaffirmed. Important decisions are made. The finite, despite his background in technical analysis, is communicated in plain language.

There are periodic notions to alter its condition, sure; but he simply does not enjoy the time required by such a task.

Class, it seems, is always in session.

David Orr at his Buies Creek, N.C., putting studio

It’s 2 p.m., and a small group ambles into the studio, each dressed in the familiar patterns of a Tour player. Ranging in age from 18 to 21, they are present to discuss their individual progress against the bar of the PGA’s playing ability test.

If brevity is indeed the soul of wit, then hard data is David Orr’s deoxyribonucleic imprint.

“Is 18 inches past the hole a speed?” he asks. “No. It’s a distance. And what would make it an actual speed?”

His students, neither lost nor disengaged, ponder the question. And while their individual opinions vary, they reach the desired common ground with assistance from Orr’s guiding hand.

“It’s feet per second,” he explains, “so what’s in the denominator? Time. That’s break. That’s touch. Curve is the roll time.”

His point is ultimately quite simple — one’s level of awareness, with specific regard to personal space, must be developed in order to construct a functional cache of putting skills.

“Here’s what the golfer doesn’t realize. Let’s say we had a 10-foot putt, zero point zero slope. No break, no nothing,” he explains. “One degree open is right edge. One degree closed is left edge. Now let’s add a 2 percent slope, putting at an angle — what just happened to the capture width of the hole? The cone just shrinks.”

For lack of a more sophisticated phrase, it’s mad science.

“No. It’s measurement,” he says. “There’s a big difference in being technical and being accurate. I disagree that great putters are born. I think great putters learn their tendencies and use them; they don’t fight them.”

The hour has slipped into rear view, and Orr is now standing atop a table in a room behind the Keith Hills golf shop. At issue is the short game concept of controlling the radius — in other words, what is lengthening and shortening during a player’s chipping motion.

“The reason why the average golfer has the chip yips is because they’ve set up to hit a low shot, and in their mind they are trying to hit a high, soft shot,” he reasons.

This session, presented to a graduate level contingency of Campbell University’s Professional Golf Management (PGM) Program, is canted in the direction of real world application — paper theory, he suggests, simply does not register with everyone.

“Put a ball about a foot from the edge of a mat,” he explains, “and try to get it on the ground as quickly as possible. What is that teaching them (students) to do? The ball goes in the air because of the loft, not because of the angle of attack.”

His message, rooted in one’s ability to communicate, is equal parts Daniel Kaffee from ‘A Few Good Men’ and professor John Keating from ‘Dead Poet’s Society’ — unafraid of the truth, its potential impact on a student’s psyche, and a coach’s willingness to walk a different path to generate success.

Over the years, Orr has employed this concept to successfully transit from a full-swing coach to a specialized entity — one who helps players motivate the golf ball to disappear with increased regularity, regardless of ability, green complex or high-stakes environment.

To that end, Orr respects the sweat equity of his students. In a game full of five footers, he prefers to place more value on the person standing over the putt — or the future instructor, for that matter — than the putt itself.

“People skills,” he exclaims. By his estimation, they make or break any professional, regardless of occupation. And as his students well know, they are non-negotiable.

“What’s work?” he asks. “It’s what you actually accomplish. What’s effort? That’s putting energy toward something, right? So, work is what you actually accomplish. Do you want to be average?”

Perhaps it is John Wooden who best captures the breadth of David Orr’s substance. The iconic UCLA basketball coach, whose dynastic teams won seven consecutive NCAA Division I titles, operated on a simple premise: Failure to prepare is preparing to fail.

“Here’s the thing about it,” he explains. “The brain works off movement, plans and strategies. You react to the plan.” To further this notion, he leans forward, saying, “We don’t give tips around here. We figure out what you’re doing. This is what you need to work on; go work on it.”

For many involved in the high profile web of a Tour player’s corporation, life can become difficult. Even for the world’s most sought after instructors, the balancing act can be difficult to manage. What begins as a working relationship can quickly flash into something complex and unyielding, and ultimately, distant.

Orr, however, remains grounded in the culture he has helped define at Campbell University. For students at “The Creek,” it is solely about the work. The environment is pure — wholly devoid of ego, personalized social media presence, entitlement or the high art of resting upon one’s laurels.

Ever the perfectionist, one would be hard pressed to imagine Orr anything less than excited about passing on what he has learned from countless others over his career.

“At Wells Fargo last year, I was walking back from the short game area with TJ Yeaton — who went through the program here — and we saw this kid down in a bunker,” he says, smiling, clearly fond of the memory. “It was another one of our guys, Jorge Parada (currently the instructor for Jonas Blixt).

“That was pretty neat. Moments like that are the most rewarding. They’re the fruits of your labor.”

Any coach worth his salt will tell you that creating a running sense of leverage often means success for his players. Suffice to say, this concept has allowed Orr to forge ahead in his scaled battle of work versus a job, of success versus being average.

For many in professional golf, life is scored in the harsh ledgers of longevity and winning percentage. Orr, however, views the matter differently, and does so through the looking glass of time well spent.

“I’m very fortunate,” he explains. “I don’t want to be rich, and I don’t want to be famous. I just want to be comfortable with what I do, and grateful for the relationships I have.”

At present, he appears content; almost relaxed. But that posture does not have much of a shelf life. There is a private lesson in five minutes, and more time to be spent refining the studio.

For David Orr, the writing is clearly on the wall.

Your Reaction?
  • 7
  • LEGIT1
  • WOW2
  • LOL2
  • IDHT3
  • FLOP1
  • OB1
  • SHANK3

Justin Hayes is a freelance writer from Wilson, N.C. A life-long fan of Wake Forest University, he enjoys fiction and independent film.



  1. Its like you learn my mind! You seem to understand a lot approximately this, such as you wrote the e book in it or something. I feel that you just can do with some p.c. to force the message home a bit, however instead of that, this is excellent blog. A fantastic read. I’ll definitely be back.

  2. johnny

    Mar 11, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    have had the pleasure of spending a full day at the “creek”. david is a wealth of knowledge and a better man at that. one of the best experiences i have had. would love to go back in the next couple years

  3. Pingback: 2013 Goal - Visit to David Orr, Putting Guru

  4. Pingback: Meet putting guru David Orr | JR's site

  5. Rufiolegacy

    Mar 4, 2013 at 11:25 am

    Interesting read here, and well written. I can honestly say that this is at the very lest inspiring to get back to the grind stone and practice. Off to the gym to prep for the season.

  6. nick

    Mar 3, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    david orr is the truth. nuff said. he’s my coach and i wouldnt want anyone else looking at my putting stroke or full swing for that matter.

  7. Phil Howard

    Mar 2, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    GREAT ARTICLE!! Thanks for sharing!!

  8. siteseer2

    Mar 2, 2013 at 10:07 am

    David Orr is equal parts genius and humility…rare in the “me” golfworld in which he exists. Those who are fortunate enough to call him friend are truly blessed…

  9. Ben Alberstadt

    Mar 1, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    Fabulous writing, Mr. Hayes. Glad to see this got placement on Golf Digest, as well.

  10. Edmond Brooks IV

    Mar 1, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    David has helped me with putting and is a great coach easy to work with. I just hope he doesn’t get too famous or I will be waiting in line;) Way too go David and best of luck…..

  11. munihack

    Mar 1, 2013 at 9:28 am

    To some extent great putters are born and made. The subtle aspects of reading a green have a lot to do with how true your vision is. I have astigmatism (sp?) in both eyes and even with correction I miss things that good green readers see. The modern, flat greens give me more trouble than the old push-up tilted greens of earlier arhitects. I simply can’t read the flat ones well. I have a friend who has qualified for USGA national events and he sees all the subtle design aspects. Grain is another issue. That is why even at the tour level some guys are “regional” putters. Most people believe Tom Watson was a good or great putter but he didn’t win in Florida until years on the Champions Tour. Putting asks the golfer to see, feel and read the ground the way the full shot maker is expected to see, feel and read the distance, wind and topography to the target. Tough greens separate putters the way wind separates ball strikers. What all great teachers do is expose the student to the perspective and tools needed to resolve the question at hand. This teacher is one of them.

  12. Juan

    Feb 28, 2013 at 10:13 pm

    I have had the privilege of having David enable me to be a MUCH better putter. He is an excellent technician, but a better person. Congrats to Dave for getting some visibility

    • Anon.

      Mar 3, 2013 at 7:49 pm

      I worked with David a considerable about a number of years ago. I will lead off that he is a good person and has come a long way in life. With that being said, I was not entirely displeased with the experience.

      We worked on the principles from a book known as “the golfing machine”. Shortly after I stopped working with him he flopped over to a “new school” of golf known as the stack and tilt. I was extremely displeased that I had spent considerable time and money working with him building a swing engraved in the golfing machine, and he switched mechanics mid-stream on me.

      If you are an average-decent golfer or worse you cannot make a mistake with him. At this level generic advice will help you immensely. If you have a game where you bounce between a scratch and a +4 handicap, and you are trying to further your game I would not recommend him.

      Golf “advice/coaching” is tailored to your game, your swing, and your physical attributes. I strongly encourage anyone seeking advice from any “teacher” to take a couple lessons with a grain of salt and really think about what the person is saying before you embrace it and start making changes.

      *Disclaimer: If you are interested in taking one lesson, no matter who from, please ignore this article.

      • Ronnie Martin

        Mar 5, 2013 at 7:36 pm

        Here’s your problem bro, TGM is not a “method” but S&T is. In fact, TGM could inly help
        You understand what is taught by Plummer and Bennett and help you understand why the golf ball does what it does after the collision. I had the good fortune to hang out and learn from DO at Campbell while certifying as an Authorized Instructor of the Golfing Machine. in 2009. David Orr is a pathological teacher. He just wants to help people and he would probably do it for free if he had to. It’s dissapointing that you feel the need to disparage the man just because you don’t know the difference in a catalogue of components, and a method.

  13. Carson

    Feb 28, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    Great article! Thank you for sharing.

    A fellow North Carolinian,
    -Carson Henry

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Opinion & Analysis

Don’t Leave Your Common Sense in Escrow Outside the Golf Course Parking Lot



Disclaimer: Much of what follows is going to come off as elitist, harsh and downright mean spirited — a pro looking down from his ivory tower at all the worthless hacks and judging them. It is the opposite. The intent is to show how foolish WE golfers are, chasing around a white ball with a crooked stick and suspending all of the common sense we use in our every day lives.

Much of what follows is not just the bane of average golfers, but also low handicappers, tour players and even a former long-drive champion during his quest for the PGA Tour… and now, the Champions Tour. In other words, if WE take ourselves a bit less seriously and use a bit more common sense, we are going to have more fun and actually hit better golf shots. We will shoot lower scores.

FYI: All of the examples of nutbaggery to come are things I have actually witnessed. They’re not exaggerated for the sake of laughs.

It’s winter time and most of you poor souls are not enjoying the 70-degree temperatures I am in Southern California right now (see, you all hate me already… and it’s going to get worse). That gives us all time to assess our approach to golf. I am not talking course management or better focus; I am talking how WE golfers approach our successes and failures, which for many is more important than the aforementioned issues or the quality of our technique.

Why is it that golf turns normal, intelligent, successful and SANE people into deviant, ignorant failures that exhibit all of the tell-tale signs of insanity? I also forgot profane, whiny, hostile, weak-minded, weak-willed and childish. Not to mention stupid. Why do we seem to leave our common sense and sanity in escrow in a cloud outside the golf course parking lot… only to have it magically return the moment our car leaves the property after imposing extreme mental anguish on ourselves that Gunnery Sergeant Hartman (don’t feel bad if you have to google this) would find extreme?

Smarter people than I have written books on this, but I think they missed a key factor. Clubs, balls, shoes, bags, gloves, tees, the grasses, especially the sand in the bunkers, the Gatorade they sell at the snack bar, hats, visors, over-logoed clothing, golf carts, etc., are all made with human kryptonite. Not enough to kill us, but just enough to make us act like children who didn’t get the latest fad toy for Christmas and react by throwing a hissy fit.

Bob Rotella has said golf is not a game of perfect, and although religious texts say man was made in God’s image, thinking we are perfect is blasphemous. We all play golf like we think there is an equivalent of a bowling 300. We expect to hit every drive 300 yards (the bowling perfect) with a three-yard draw… in the middle of the face… in the dead center of the fairway. All iron shots must be worked from the middle of the green toward the pin and compressed properly with shaft lean, ball-first contact and the perfect dollar-bill sized divot (and not too deep). Shots within 100 yards from any lie should be hit within gimme range, and all putts inside 20 feet must be holed.

We get these ideas from watching the best players in the world late on Sunday, where all of the above seem commonplace. We pay no attention to the fact that we are significantly worse than the guys who shot 76-76 and missed the cut. We still hold ourselves to that ridiculous standard.

  • Group 1: “Monte, you’re exaggerating. No one has those expectations.”
  • Group 2: ”Monte, I’m a type-A personality. I’m very competitive and hard on myself.”

To the first group, the following examples say different. And to the second group, I am one of you. It’s OK for me to want to shoot over 80 percent from the free throw line, but at 50 years old and 40 pounds over weight, what would you say to me if I said, “I’m type-A and competitive and I want to dunk like Lebron James!” Oh yeah, and I want to copy Michael Jordan’s dunking style, Steph Curry’s shooting stroke and Pistol Pete’s passing and dribbling style.” That seems ridiculous, but switch those names to all-time greats in golf and WE have all been guilty of those aspirations.

I don’t know how to answer 18-handicaps who ask me if they should switch to blades so they can work the ball better and in both directions. The blunt a-hole in me wants to tell them, “Dude, just learn to hit the ball on the face somewhere,” but that’s what they read in the golf magazines. You’re supposed to work the ball from the middle of the green toward the pin, like Nicklaus. Well, the ball doesn’t curve as much now as it did in Nicklaus’ prime and most tour players only work the ball one way unless the circumstances don’t allow it. “And you’re not Jack Nicklaus.” Some joke about Jesus and Moses playing golf has that punch line.

Wouldn’t it be easier to get as proficient as possible at one shot when you have limited practice time, versus being less than mediocre on several different shots? This also applies to hitting shots around the greens 27 different ways, but don’t get me started…just buy my short game video. Hyperbole and shameless plug aside, this is a huge mistake average golfers make. They never settle on one way of doing things.

The day the first white TaylorMade adjustable driver was released, I played 9 holes behind a very nice elderly couple. He went to Harvard and she went to Stanford. He gets on the first tee and hits a big push. He walks to the cart, grabs his wrench and closes the club face. She tops her tee shot, gets the wrench and adds some loft. Out of morbid curiosity, I stayed behind them the entire front 9 and watched them adjust their clubs for every mishit shot. It took over 3 hours for a two-some. These are extremely nice, smart and successful people and look what golf did to them. Anyone calling this a rules violation, have a cocktail; you’re talking yourself even more seriously than they were. Old married couple out fooling around, big deal if they broke a rule. No tournament, not playing for money, they’re having fun. They had gimmies, mulligans and winter rules. Good for them.

This is an extreme example of a huge mistake that nearly 100 percent of golfers make; they believe the need for an adjustment after every bad shot… or worse, after every non-perfect shot. How many of you have done this both on the range and on the course?

”(Expletive), pushed that one, need to close the face. (Expletive), hit that one thin, need to hit down more on this one. (Expletive), hooked that one, need to hold off the release.”

I’ll ask people why they do this and the answer is often, “I’m trying to build a repeatable swing.”

Nice. Building repeatable swing by making 40 different swings during a range session or round of golf. That is insane and stupid, but WE have all done it. The lesson learned here is to just try and do better on the next one. You don’t want to make adjustments until you have the same miss several times in a row. As a secondary issue, what are the odds that you do all of the following?

  1.  Diagnose the exact swing fault that caused the bad shot
  2.  Come up with the proper fix
  3.  Implement that fix correctly in the middle of a round of golf with OB, two lakes, eight bunkers and three elephants buried in the green staring you in the face.

Another factor in this same vein, and again, WE have all been guilty of this: “I just had my worst round in three weeks. What I was doing to shoot my career low three times in row isn’t working any more. Where is my Golf Digest? I need a new tip.”

Don’t lie… everyone reading this article has done that. EVERYONE! Improvement in golf is as far from linear as is mathematically possible. I have never heard a golfer chalk a high score up to a “bad day.” It’s always a technique problem, so there is a visceral need to try something different. “It’s not working anymore. I think I need to do the Dustin Johnson left wrist, the Sergio pull-down lag, the Justin Thomas downswing hip turn, the Brooks Koepka restricted-backswing hip turn and the Jordan Spieth and Jamie Sadllowski bent left elbow… with a little Tiger Woods 2000 left-knee snap when I need some extra power.” OK, maybe it’s a small bit of exaggeration that someone would try all of these, but I have heard multiple people regale of putting 2-3 of those moves in after a bad round that didn’t mesh with their downtrending index.

An 8-handicap comes to me for his first lesson. He had shot in the 70’s four of his last five rounds and shot a career best in the last of the five. All of the sudden, those friendly slight mishits that rhyme with the place where we keep our money show up. First a few here and there and then literally every shot. He shows up and shanks 10 wedges in a row and is literally ready to cry. I said, “Go home, take this week off and come back… and what’s your favorite beer?”

He comes back the next week, pulls a club and goes to hit one. I tell him to have a seat. I hand him a beer and we talk football for 15 minutes. Then I pull out my iPad and show him exactly why he is hitting shanks. I tell him one setup issue and one intent change and ask him to go hit one. It was slightly on the heel, but not a shank and very thin. I said to do both changes a bit more. The second one — perfect divot, small draw and on target. I walk over, put my hand up for a high five and say, “Awesome job! Great shot!”

He leaves me hanging and says, ”Yeah, but I hit it in the toe.”

Don’t judge him. Every day I have people with 50-yard slices toned down to 15-20 yards saying the ball is still slicing. These are people who won’t accept a fade, but slam their club when it over draws 15 feet left of the target… and so on. I can’t judge or be angry; I used to be these guys, too. During a one-hour lesson, I often hear people get frustrated with themselves for thin and fat, left and right, heel and toe. Apparently, anything not hunting flags or hit out of a dime-sized area is an epic fail. I also get emails the next day saying the fault and miss is still there.


My big miss has always been a big block, often in the heel. Instead, I now often hit a pull in the left fairway bunker out of the toe. I celebrate like I’m Kool & the Gang and it’s 1999… and I get strange looks from everyone. I can manage a 10-15 yard low, slightly drawn pull. I cannot not manage a 40-50 yard in the atmosphere block… that cuts.

So, now that I have described all of US as pathetic, let’s see what we can do.

  1. Be hard on yourself, be competitive and set lofty goals all you want… but you need to accept at least a one-side miss. If you hate hitting thin, weak fades, you need to allow yourself a slightly heavy over draw. Not allowing yourself any miss will make you miss every shot.
  2. Generally, the better the player, the larger the pool of results that are used to judge success. Pros judge themselves over months and years. High-handicappers judge themselves on their previous shot. Do you think pros make a swing change after 10 good shots and one minor miss? We all seem to think that course of action is astute. Bad shot, must have done something wrong… HULK MUST FIX!
  3. Don’t judge your shots on a pass/fail grade. Grade yourself A-F. Are you going to feel better after 10 A’s, 25 B’s, 15 C’s, 4 D’s and 1 F… or 10 passes and 40 fails? If every non-perfect shot is seen as a failure, your subconscious will do something different in order to please you. Again, 40 different swings.
  4. Improving your swing and scores is a lot like losing weight. No one expects to make changes in a diet and exercise routine and lose 20 pounds in one day, yet golfers expect a complete overhaul in a small bucket. Give yourself realistic time frames for improvement. “I’m a 12. By the end of next year, I want to be an 8.”  That’s your goal, not whether or not your last range session was the worst in a month. It’s a bad day; that is allowed. Major champions miss cuts and all of them not named Tiger Woods don’t change their swings. They try and do better next week… and they nearly always do.
  5. DO NOT measure yourself either on the mechanics of your swing or your scoring results according to some arbitrary standard of perfection… and especially not against tour players. Measure yourself against yourself. Think Ty Webb. Is your swing better than it was 6 months ago? Do you hit it better than 6 months ago? Are you scoring better than 6 months ago? If you can say yes to at least two of those questions, your swing looking like Adam Scott is less relevant than the color of golf tee you use.

That is a winning formula, and just like bad habits in your swing, you can’t wake up one morning and tell yourself you’re no longer into self flagellation. It takes effort and practice to improve your approach and get out of your own way… but more importantly, have some fun.

Your Reaction?
  • 168
  • LEGIT15
  • WOW2
  • LOL2
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK7

Continue Reading

Opinion & Analysis

15 hot takes from Greg Norman on our 19th Hole podcast



Our Michael Williams spoke with the Great White Shark himself, Greg Norman, for GolfWRX’s 19th Hole podcast. Not surprisingly, the two-time major champion had no shortage of hot takes.

While you’ll want to check out the full ‘cast, here are 15 takes of varying degrees of hotness, from Norman’s feelings about bifurcation to whether he’d pose for ESPN’s Body Issue.

1) He wants bifurcation immediately, rolling back technology for the pros, rolling it forward for amateurs

“I would instigate a bifurcation of the rules. I would roll back the golf ball regulations to pre-1996. I would roll back the technology that’s in the golf equipment for the professionals. And I would open up the technology and give it to the masses because the pros who developed the maximum club head speed of 118, 120 are the ones who maximize what technology is in that piece of equipment. So the person who’s under 100 miles an hour does not hit the ball an extra 30, 35 yards at all. They may pick up a few yards but they don’t get the full benefit of that technology…I would definitely do that because I think we’ve gotta make the game more fun for the masses. “

2) He has no relationship with Tiger Woods and doesn’t plan to watch him play golf

“And this might sound kind of strange. What I’ll say is … I really, in all honesty, I really don’t care what Tiger does with golf. I think Tiger is, golf probably needs him to some degree but golf doesn’t need him, if you know what I mean, because there’s so many other incredibly talented great young players out there, probably a dozen of them, maybe even more, that are equal, if not way better than Tiger, and they can carry the baton of being the number one player in the world. So, I get a little bit perplexed about and disappointed about how some of these guys get pushed into the background by the attention Tiger gets. I hope he does well. If he doesn’t do well, it doesn’t bother me. If he does do well, it doesn’t bother me.”

3) He plays almost no golf these days

“I really don’t play a lot of golf. I played with my son in the father-son at the end of last year, had a blast with him. Played a little bit of golf preparing for that. But since then I have not touched a golf club.”

4) He doesn’t enjoy going to the range anymore

“To be honest with you I’m sick and tired of being on the driving range hitting thousands and thousands of golf balls. That bores me to death now. My body doesn’t like it to tell you the truth. Since I’ve stopped playing golf I wake up without any aches and pains and I can go to the gym on a regular basis without aches and pains. So my lifestyle is totally different now. My expectations, equally, is totally different.”

5) It took him a long time to get used to recreational golf

“But I’ve been in this mode now for quite a few years now so the first couple of years, yes. My body was not giving me what my brain was expecting. So you do have to make those mental adjustments. Look, there’s no difference than when you hit 40, you’re a good player or not a good player. Things start to perform differently. Your proprioception is different. Your body is different. I don’t care how good you are and how great physical shape you are. Your body after just pure wear and tear, it eventually does tend to break down a little bit. And when you’re under the heat of the battle and under the gun, when you have to execute the most precise shot, your body sometimes doesn’t deliver what you want.”

6) He’s a big Tom Brady fan

“I’m a big fan, big admirer of his. He gets out of it what he puts into it obviously…But he’s also a role model and a stimulator for his teammates. No question, when you go to play Brady and the Patriots, you’d better bring your A game because he’s already got his A game ready to go.”

7) He believes we’ll see 50-plus-year-old winners on Tour

“I said this categorically when Tom Watson nearly won at Turnberry in his 50s, when I nearly won at Royal Birkdale in my 50s….if you keep yourself physically in good shape, flexibility in good shape, as well as your swing playing, and your swing. Yeah, maybe the yips come in maybe they don’t, that depends on the individual, right? But at the end of the day, my simple answer is yes. I do believe that’s going to happen.”

8) The Shark logo has been vital to his post-golf success

“But I realized very early on in life too that every athlete, male or female, no matter what sports you play you’re a finite entity. You have a finite period of time to maximize your best performance for X number of years. And with golf, if you look at it historically, it’s almost like a 15 year cycle. I had my 15 year run. Every other player has really has had a 15 year run, plus or minus a few years.”

“So you know you have that definitive piece of time you got to work with and then what you do after that is understanding what you did in that time period. And then how do you take that and parlay it? I was lucky because I had a very recognizable logo. It wasn’t initials. It wasn’t anything like that. It was just a Great Shark logo. And that developed a lot of traction. So I learned marketing and branding very, very quickly and how advantageous it could be as you look into the future about building your businesses.”

9) He’s tried to turn on-course disappointments into positives

“We all … well I shouldn’t say we all. I should say the top players, the top sports men and women work to win. Right? And when we do win that’s what we expected ourselves to do because we push ourselves to that limit. But you look at all the great golfers of the past and especially Jack Nicklaus, it’s how you react to a loss is more important than how you react to a victory. And so, I learned that very, very early on. And I can’t control other people’s destiny. I can’t control what other people do on the golf course. So I can only do what I do. When I screw up, I use that as a very strong study point in understanding my weakness to make sure that I make a weakness a strength.”

10) Jordan Spieth is best suited to be the top player in the world

“I think that Jordan is probably the most balanced, with best equilibrium in the game. He’s probably, from what I’m seeing, completely in touch with the responsibilities of what the game of golf and the success in the game of golf is.”

11) His golf design is built on two pillars

“Two things: Begin with the end in mind and the least disturbance approach. I think we, the industry of golf course design industry, really did the game of golf a major disservice in the 80s and 90s when everybody was leveraged to the hilt, thought they had unlimited capital, and thought they could just go build these big golf courses with big amounts of money invested in with magnificent giant club houses which weren’t necessary. So, we were actually doing a total disservice to the industry because it was not sustainable.”

12) He’s still not happy about having essentially invented the WGC events and not getting credit

“I’ll always be a little bit salty about that because there’s a saying that I keep telling everybody, “slay the dreamer.” I came up with a pretty interesting concept where the players would be the part owners of their own tour or their own destiny and rewarded the riches if they performed on the highest level. And quite honestly, Michael, actually a friend of mine sent me an article, it was a column written, “Shark and Fox Plan to Take a Bite out of the PGA”. And this is written in 11/17/94 and I literally just got it last night. And I’m reading through this article and I’m going, “Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, I was ahead of my time!” I really was ahead of my time.

So, it was very, very kind of like a reflective moment for me. I read it again this morning with a cup of coffee and I did sit back and, I’ll be brutally honest with you and your listeners, and did sit back and I did get a little bit angry because of the way I was portrayed, the way I was positioned.”

13) He was muzzled by the producer at Fox

“I’m not going to dig deep into this, I think there was just a disconnect between the producer and myself. I got on really well with the director and everybody else behind the scenes, some of my thought processes about what I wanted to talk about situations during the day, and it just didn’t pan out. And things that I wanted to say, somebody would be yelling in my ear, “Don’t say it, don’t say it!” So it became a very much a controlled environment where I really didn’t feel that comfortable.”

14) Preparation wasn’t the problem during his U.S. Open broadcast

“I was totally prepared so wherever this misleading information comes saying I wasn’t prepared, I still have copious notes and folders about my preparation with the golf course, with the players, with the set-up, with conditioning. I was totally prepared. So that’s an assumption that’s out there that is not true. So there’s a situation where you can please some of the people some of the time but not all of the people all of the time.

15) He would do ESPN’s Body Issue

“Of course I’d do it. I think I like being fit. I think on my Instagram account I probably slipped a few images out there that created a bit of a stir…And I enjoy having myself feel good. And that’s not an egotistical thing, it’s just none of my, most of my life I’ve been very healthy fit guy and if somebody like ESPN wants to recognize that, yeah of course I would consider doing it.”

Don’t forget to listen to the full podcast here!

Your Reaction?
  • 39
  • LEGIT4
  • WOW3
  • LOL6
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP11
  • OB0
  • SHANK34

Continue Reading


TG2: “If you could only play one brand, what would it be?” (Part 2)



“If you could only play one brand, what would it be?” Brian Knudson and Andrew Tursky debate their choices in part 2 of this podcast (click here in case you missed Part 1). Also, TG2 welcomes special guest and GolfWRX Forum Member Ed Settle to the show to discuss what clubs he has in the bag.

Listen to our podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes!

Your Reaction?
  • 4
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP1
  • OB0
  • SHANK3

Continue Reading

19th Hole