(Bobby Jones with the 1930 U.S. Open trophy)
I compulsively collect swing tips and swing thoughts. I do so because I hope that a few of them will actually “stick.” (I will never confess how many tips and thoughts I have embraced and then summarily dismissed after one or two rounds.) While my search for tips and thoughts will go on for the foreseeable future, I think it is time search for MEGA INSPIRATIONS. In other words, look for guidance from golfers and teachers who have been VERY successful.
Okay, I admit it. I am starting a new FOUR-STEP SELF-IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM that I hope will lead to respectable finishes in this year’s club championship. (I will be placed in one of the net flights, NOT in the no-stroke flight with the really good golfers.) The four steps are: 1) Continue to take lessons; 2) More practice; 3) Fine tuning my collection of tips and thoughts; 4) Learn to think like a winner.
- Below are 10 worth-thinking-about quotes from golfers and teachers who know all about winning. MEGA thinking may just be the one dimension that has been lacking in my search for respectability.
- To be successful in anything, a person must always want to be better, not only than your opponent but better than your last performance. Done correctly, being competitive is a wonderful way to always try to be a better person by learning from your mistakes and capitalizing on your success.– Hale Irwin, winner of three U.S. Opens and 45 Champion Tour tournaments
- I don’t think you can ever will yourself to win. I think you prepare yourself the best you can, get yourself in the best mindset you can get in, and go after it. – Jack Nicklaus, who won 18 Majors
- I think competing is more important than winning. There have been a lot of times when I’ve teed it up and I didn’t win, but I felt like I competed. I felt like this was not my day, but I never gave up, and I tried on every shot, and then next week I’d go get them. – Juli Inkster, winner of seven Majors. She was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2000
- You’ve got to have the guts not to be afraid to screw up. The guys who win are the one who are not afraid to mess up. And that comes right from the heart. – 1979 Masters and 1984 U.S. Open champion Fuzzy Zoeller
- You don’t have to be better than everybody else, you just have to be better than you ever thought you could be. – Ken Venturi, who won the U.S. Open in 1964
- Confidence comes from hard work. It comes from facing different situations and making putts. It comes from knowing you’ve worked on the right things, so when you get under the gun, you can execute what you’ve practiced. – 2001 Open champion David Duval
- When they say golf is 90 percent mental, they’re really talking about attitude. The right attitude is the first step of playing your best. – LPGA player and instructor Wendy Ward
- You’ve got to think you can win, no matter what age you are. – Seven-time Major champion Arnold Palmer
- No-one will ever have golf under his thumb. No round ever will be so good it could not have been better. Perhaps this is why golf is the greatest of games. – Bobby Jones, who won all four Majors (The Grand Slam) in 1930
- Your next shot is a new experience. It might be the best shot you ever hit in your life. – From Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book: Lessons and Teachings from a Lifetime in Golf, which is the all-time bestselling golf instruction book
Allan (Current handicap: 12)