Friday, April 13, 2012

Tiger, it's time to take a lesson from Yani's playbook

With the first two majors behind us now (Kraft Nabisco and The Masters), the golf season has finally arrived in the great white north.  Did it take longer this year, or is it just me?  I am usually on my local course by February, but this year, it was April before I was able to grip it and flip it (ripping it isn't part of my game yet ;)).  Sunday is my first real golf game in Vancouver since last October.  Can you spell WITHDRAWAL?

I was travelling during both majors, but you can't escape the magic, mystery and madness that happens before and after the year's first majors.  Most of the golf sites and blogs I follow have been sharing some great stories, but for me, the most impacting post-major story was about someone who didn't win her major (no offence Bubba - you are, and will always be, "Awesome!" :))

Yani Tseng wasn't the 2012 Kraft Nabisco Champion, but she'll always be a champion of the game.  No wonder her fan base is growing exponentially.  Her latest fan, Charlie Rose, did a masterful interview of her recently and she didn't disappoint.

Check out her interview and tell me if you didn't learn something from this youngster.



Yani sets a benchmark for others to aspire. This Number One is humble, but confident; serious, but happy; competitive but gracious -- a joy to watch on and off the course.

Yani is wise beyond her years and what really amazes me is that she knows what she doesn't know.  That's something very few of us ever achieve -- self awareness.  She's constantly looking for ways to improve herself -- not just her driving accuracy or putting, but who she is inside as a person, not just the #1 golfer in the world.  No wonder she is such a happy golfgal!

In this one interview I learned three very important lessons from someone half my age.  Embarrassing, but it goes to show you - you are never too old to learn...

1.  Goals are a mandatory part of golf and of life, no matter how small or big...no matter how short or long term.  Without a goal, practice sessions are a waste of time.  Without a goal, you can't move forward.  Without a goal, you are probably moving backwards. 

2.  Even when you reach what you consider to be your ultimate goal, you're not done.  You must set new goals to take you even further.  Yani is so far ahead of the others on the LPGA that they are fighting for second place in most events.  Remind you of someone?  ;)  Distractions knocked Tiger off the the top of the World Rankings, not injury and not swing changes.  Somehow I just don't see that happening to Yani.

3.  When things are good - smile.  When things are bad - smile.  When things get ugly - smile.  Evertime I hear Yani talk in interviews about how she's trying to smile more, I'm reminded of Nat King Cole and I think Yani should consider Smile as her new theme song.

Yani is a wonderful role model for all of us.  She walked away from the Nabisco a winner even though she didn't take home the trophy.  Unfortunately the same can't be said for Tiger whose behavior on the last day of The Masters did not impress us, teach us or make us smile. 


Yani said in the Rose interview that she admired Tiger's ability to recover from shots that went all over place.  Sadly that was a different Tiger at a different time. 
He couldn't recover on Sunday, and maybe, just maybe it's time for Tiger to look a little deeper at the man within and realize he needs to take lesson from Yani's playbook. 

So instead of trantrums, club kicking and scowling, Tiger needs to take a deep breath and...

"Smile though your heart is breaking
Smile even though it's aching
When there are clouds in the sky, you'll get by
If you smile through your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You'll see the sun come shining through for you

Light up your face with gladness
Hide every trace of sadness
Although a tear may be ever so near
That's the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what's the use of crying?
You'll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile"

Golfgal

2 comments:

vacation home rentals in arizona said...

With all the pressure Tiger has in his life right now,I still admire him pulling off a great golf game.

Don said...

The only pressure Tiger has in his life right now is he wants to be #1. Sorry Tiger you have to earn it!
Yani has earned it through hard work.