Jack Nicklaus was a golf legend in his spare time just as the great Bobby Jones. Nicklaus studied Jones, who amassed 13 major championships without turning pro. Want to learn something interesting about golf? Go research the reasons Nicklaus turned professional. Scott Verplank and Phil Michelson both won PGA Tour events while they were in college full time.
David Dupre, the best amateur and part time player I have ever known qualified for the 1982 U.S. Open on short notice because he wanted to play Pebble Beach. Research how difficult it is to qualify for a professional major championship while looking up the number one reason Nicklaus turned pro.
My theme today, is how to get more out of your time, by using your mind. Larry Bosewell was my first mentor and Dick Averitte was my next. Bosewell is a Carolinas Amateur Hall of fame player and Dick Averitte owned Weed Hill Driving range which was across the street from Coldstream CC. Both were old school, no nonsense tough men who were direct, while never wasting words, or time. What they taught me was how to get better faster, by using my eyes, studying great players then modeling, while spending time on what matters most. My start in golf was blazing and my golf teaching passion has been to share with others my experience so hopefully they derive comparable joy.
The way one uses their mind, eyes, and then their bodies is the secret recipe. Combine this with practicing at home, effectively is another magical secret. All great players find a place to integrate the ideas. Since 1979 I have studied, and documented answers and the most effective training ground can be your home. Bobby Jones and Jack Nicklaus hit balls in basements and attics, at night and in the off season. The closing suggestion is combining some science with the creative and imaginative mind with fun and challenging exercises and drills and committing daily to 5-15 minutes of daily, disciplined, sustained efficient practice. The key words were daily, disciplined, and efficient.
Here is what I did daily in the beginning based on what my mentors suggested; after going to class then work, I would go to the library and read Sports Illustrated dated articles on previous golf championships. Of course, I was supposed to study but seldom did that happen. I would read for hours, go back to the dorm, and dream about playing in the same events. I would wake up well before sunrise and go practice behind Sarge Frye baseball field under the security light on the other side of right field fence. Thirty minutes before dawn I would leave and drive to either the Wildwood Practice Polo field or a golf course to await the sun to rise. Putting was very difficult to practice at these times so my skill was slow to develop. However, and this is the golden nugget here, by constantly engaging in chipping and pitching study I was learning cause and effect. In short, Ball Control is best learned with small swings. I played the games I learned from Larry Boswell while using the technique Dick Averitte taught me. The best part was the FUN in the games, and challenge of skill development.
These local juniors have been working hard on their games and earning a South Carolina Junior Golf Association Junior State ranking. In the boy’s division, Tyler Gray of Lugoff is ranked 16th, Dillon Hite of Lexington is ranked 22nd. In the girl’s division, Gracyn Burgess of Lexington is 1st. Jensen Castle of West Columbia is 4th, Isabella Rawl of Lexington 10th, Jalen Castle of West Columbia 12th, Molly Hardwick of Lexington 17th, Jordan Guyton of Columbia 23rd, Karlee Vardas of Lexington 25th.
The Irmo Chapin Recreation Commission Winter Youth Golf Tour begins December 3. This program is for junior golfers ages 6 -18 of all skill levels. Parents are involved in this program with their junior golfer through being a caddie, spectator, or guide on Sunday afternoons. For more information call Seven Oaks or Crooked Creek Park at 803-772-3336 or 803-345-6181.
The Grow Golf Now Pee Wee League for ages 4-7, this golfer will participate on a Youth Developmental Course where the idea of going to a golf playground for fun. Players will learn concepts and strategies while developing skill during play. For registration information please call Seven Oaks Park at 803-772-3336.