Friday, April 2, 2010
Having To Eat A Bit Of South-African Crow
A few months back I talked about some of the big names that hadn't won anything in 2009 (http://golferinkilt.blogspot.com/2010/01/biggest-golf-losers-of-2009.html). One of them was Ernie Els, about whom I stated "Ernie changed swing coaches in 2008, after working with Leadbetter since 1990, and he has not truly regained his edge since. Ernie just turned 40, and one would have to wonder if time is running out on one of the best looking swings in the history of golf". Well, clearly I was wrong, and nobody is happier about this than I am. He's now won twice in a row on difficult courses with world-class fields. I love having that silky smooth swing back in contention on a regular basis. As a tall golfer myself Ernie is one of the few pro players I have a chance to pick up a few moves from. I can read Hogan's fundamentals until I'm blue in the face, but the fact remains that my left leg weighs more than Hogan does, and I can never do the things he talks about in the book. I took a few lessons last year, and at one point my pro showed my swing next to Ernie's on the computer. This was quite humbling, to say the least, but also very inspirational. I've said many times that there's nobody I'd rather watch hit golf balls than Ernie and Fred Couples. It really doesn't matter what the competition is. And now they're both at the very peak of their game, which makes it even more exciting. On a personal level Ernie comes across very genuine, and he's clearly had to deal with some significant personal hardships. The fact that he's come out of it all swinging (literally) and performing at the very highest level is a testament to his talent and perseverance.