Today’s post was written by Brett Slater.
“Out here, it’s just you and the ball.” – Mike Weir, 2003 Masters Champion
This week, I spent some time at the Accenture Match Play Golf Championship in Marana, Arizona, where the top 64 golfers in the world compete in head-to-head matches – winner moves on, loser goes home – until one is crowned champion at the end.
Tuesday was a practice day, so as an avid (but not very good) golfer myself, I was eager to see how the pros practice. And not just pros, but the best of the best: Masters champions, U.S. and British Open winners, future Hall-of-Famers.
This post was initially going to be about Practice: How even the pros do it, you’re never too good to practice, etc. But beyond the clinical part of their practice lies another important aspect: the guys who help each of these men become champions.
During play, you get to see the caddie – the guy who carries the bag, consults and advises during the round, and who knows as much about the golfer’s game as the golfer himself. But off the course, there’s always a swing coach, often a strength and fitness coach, and frequently a mental coach as well. All of whom work to keep the golfer at the top of his game in both body and mind.
Some of these coaches were with the golfers during practice on Tuesday, and seeing them reminded me that even though during play, “it’s just you and the ball” out there, none of those guys got to where they are by themselves.
It took the dedicated work of a team.