I like to think we all seemed to have our heroes and greats in our early years. Growing up in front of a television had us dashing around with a sword or packing a six-shooter at our side. Depending on what we were watching at the time, whether it was in front of a television or out on some field watching a football game. We all seemed to mimic someone at one time or another. In our early years finding someone we admired as a Mentor kind of kept the spirit alive in direction and where we are today.
I often wondered back how I caught on to what some people call golf fever. Thinking back I often admired good golfers where I caddied. How I remembered getting excited when I watched a good golfer walk towards the first tee box. Standing there in anticipation of a huge drive to follow as the golfer teed up his ball, remembering how they maneuvered the golf ball off the tee box, watching the shot rise with a steady climb as it went out into the distance. I had to figure out then and there on how they did that by grabbing a stick or a nearby branch of any length and mimicking their swing. I use to take buckets of golf balls out to the practice range to try and accomplish that remarkable hitting distance. It just made me a better golfer trying.
Names like Kendal and Nadler sparked my excitement that took me where I am today in golf. To this day, because of my admiration of their golf game back then, it fired up the enthusiasm for years of golf that followed. The names may not have recognition to anybody else, but to me they were like a Palmer and Nicklaus as their names are to anybody today in the golf industry.
Kendal I admired because of his ability to take trees and woods out of play. His shots started out low with a steady climb upwards at about 200 yards out. His drives were so huge. I think then and there is where I caught the fever. His 5 wood took all the trees out of play. With today’s technology, I would like to view those same shots again.
Nadler was a different type of golfer. She liked to play a low draw shot or fade shot. Her ability to move a ball in any direction was uncanny. Going up and over trees was not her game. Nadler steered her golf shots around them, like she was navigating a vehicle on an obstacle course. Her golf game was kind of like, hit the ball just before the green and watch it bounce past a sand trap and roll in towards the flagstick. Nadler could steer the ball around sand traps, trees, and whatever obstacles that were in her way. I often thought her golf ball had eyes, because of how her golf shots would start out straight and come back in towards the flagstick. It was amazing to watch. I learned from her that a straight shot was not the only golf shot you needed to master to play good golf. Also playing the old bump and run approach is an alternative game to play, that she was a master at.
It was because of them, my enthusiasm for golf took me to a better game. I didn’t even think about watching it on television at the time. Sure I enjoy watching it on television today. You tend to slow down and take a more relaxed approach, or what you may call a golf couch approach at the game, as you get older. I guess the golf fever for me then, was being able to play golf like my Mentors, and there was nothing more enjoyable than actually trying to create a golf swing like theirs out on the course. I liked to think of them as Mentors, because it was them that taught me the potential thrill of playing good golf.
No matter what game of sports you play or want to learn. It could work for all walks of life. Go out and watch someone that is much better than you, and see if you can catch the excitement, to be as good, if not better. It could bring you to the top. If you’re persistent!