Winged Foot – HSBC Premier Golf Outing

Wingedf Foot

Photo by: Joe Vericker, PhotoBeaureau Inc.

Yesterday was a pretty amazing day.  My good friend, Greg Tobler, who runs an Audio Video services company, specializing in corporate events, film and tv sound production, and professional sports broadcasts, invited me to help him out with a gig at Winged Foot Golf Club.  Truly hallowed ground in the golf world, and an absolutely amazing place to see the sunrise.

We were there to help HSBC Premier with their AV needs for their golf outing.  I think HSBC ran a great event.   Everybody at HSBC was so nice including Theresa Childs and all the  volunteers.  I met Paul Lawrence, President and CEO for HSBC Bank USA and he was charming and personable.  I learned a bit about the HSBC Premier product and I wish I would have known about it earlier because it’s great if you travel, live or are moving overseas.  It seemed like everybody at the outing had a great time.  Not only did they play in an incredible setting, but everybody played a shot or two with Retief Goosen.   Retief Goosen is European and PGA Tour player, winner of 2 US Opens and the 19th ranked player in the world.  I even got the chance to spend a couple of minutes with him.  I was a bit nervous approaching him, but he was really classy, down to earth, and easy to talk to.  I asked him a couple of questions and you could tell that he really thought about the answer he was about to give.

Being that this blog is about becoming a scratch golfer, I asked him for one piece of advice that he could give aspiring scratch golfers.  He said “If someone is a solid golfer then they should improve their short game.  Most amateurs that I play with would halve their handicap by improving their short game.”  I realize this is not earth shattering advice but it rings true.  My best rounds come when I’m chipping and putting well, and the closer you get your chips to the hole, the easier the putts are.  The better your short game, the better you can score at any level .

If you’ve been reading my blog then you know one of my nagging issues is not being able to get my actual swing to match my practice swing.  I asked him his thoughts about that.   He said that the only way to really address that is to go to the range with a teaching pro who could really see what is happening.  Although I wish I could have gotten “the answer” to this nagging problem, I appreciated his honesty.  It’s not something that’s easy to fix but I remain as determined as ever to fix it.  From the main dining room at Winged Foot I saw him tee off, and I was humbled by how easy he makes the game look.

After the awards ceremony he took the time to do a little QA session with the group.  When asked who the best young players in the game are he replied that “Anthony Kim and Rory McIlroy are the young players to watch.”  He thinks that Rory McIlroy is underacheiving currently but expects him to really break through in the next couple of years.  It was a special and memorable day for me, and I feel fortunate to have experienced this.

Photo by: Joe Vericker, PhotoBeaureau Inc.

2 thoughts on “Winged Foot – HSBC Premier Golf Outing”

  1. I had the benefit of taking lessons with a pro from Ridgeway CC. The first thing he taught me was how to chip. And he ingrained in me the importance of the short game.

    As i’ve played for a few years now, i’ve realized some things. 1) You’ve got to drive the ball well to have a chance at scoring well. 2) Your second shots/approach shots have to be good to have a chance at scoring well. 3) YOU ABSOLUTELY CANNOT SCORE WELL IF YOU CANNOT CHIP AND/OR PUTT. You could have a perfect drive and a G.I.R., but still 4 putt. Conversely, even a bad drive will travel far; a bad second shot will travel far enough to find a hazard or the rough; and a great chip and an up and down can save par.

    I practice my short game for 70% of my time that I practice. And thanks to Mr. Goosen for validating my hard work.

  2. @Tim Richman: That is a great point. In Zen Golf, Dr. Joseph parent says that a poor drive can be remedied by a great approach shot. A poor approach shot can be remedied by a great chip. A poor chip, can be remedied by a great putt, but a great putt can’t be remedied.

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

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