The secret of winning at golf…and in life?
Is it about being lucky? Is it about preparation? Is it all about natural given talent? Does it help if you can drive a golf ball 320 yards off the tee? The answer is probably yes, with a big maybe:
Coach to several European Tour winners and former coach of Ryder Cup and European Tour legend Colin Montgomerie, Denis Pugh knows a thing or two about winning. Denis is also a Vice-President of The Wisley. He shared a few pearls of wisdom during an evening at the South Kensington Club as part of their Voyager Club speaker series. Here are a few tips I will take away from the talk:
1) Work smarter, not harder: I clearly remember my parents saying to me that success in life was due to 5% inspiration (or talent or ability, whatever you prefer) and 95% hard work. Denis shared another view with us — that it’s about doing the right things. How often do we question whether our efforts are producing results? Of course we need patience and dedication to achieve our goals in golf or life, however, if we don’t question our approach now and then, we can fall into the category a friend of mine, Charlie Hurst calls “being busy fools”!
2) Don’t dismiss luck: I love the quote attributed to Gary Player: “The harder I practice, the luckier I get”. For me, it’s what you do with it that counts. What can you do to increase the chance of getting lucky? Prepare well. Keep a positive attitude. Be grateful for the good things you have and take full advantage of your fortune.
3) Find the right mentor or coach: Denis is a top coach with a brilliant track record, making it easy to pay close attention to what he says. He also was charming, witty, knowledgeable and engaging. There are huge benefits to selecting a person that has experience in delivering the results you wish to achieve, and even though it might cost you a pound or two, having the right coach or mentor can help you get to where you want more quickly than doing it on your own.
Little and often brings results.
The weekend after the talk, I was inspired enough to see my own golf coach, Steve Burridge at Richmond Golf Club for a lesson and in half an hour he has hopefully put me back on the winning path again with a few tweaks to my technique. I know it’s now about practicing now and then. Fortunately, after my 3 year old son Jayan asked me if we could head to Dukes Meadows to hit some balls (his words not mine, and music to my ears), I’ve taken him almost every week since and I get to hit the odd ball when he allows me. We will have to wait to 2017 to see the results.
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