Professional golf is the only sport where, if you win 20% of the time, you’re the best.
I’m probably the only bottom-heavy golfer in the country.
I thoroughly enjoy working with kids, whether it’s The First Tee or the lesson tee with my grandkids.
I can barely turn on my computer!
And, of course, I’m constantly energized by designing courses around the world.
But if I played well and prepared myself properly, then all I had to do was control myself and put myself in a position to win.
If I had one golf course, from a design standpoint, one that I really love, it would probably be Pinehurst. There’s a totally tree-lined golf course where trees are not a part of the strategy.
Sometimes, I’m an ogre. I can be short. I’ll walk into the office some days and I’ve gotten up on the wrong side of the bed, and everybody knows it. I’m a perfectionist. I like to be organized, and I like to get everything done today.
Naturally it is nice to be widely known for worthwhile achievements, but it forces you to do many things which you don’t like to do and these things take up time you want for other things.
If I were to look back on my work, I think I accomplished probably about 70 to 75 percent of what I could have. Maybe 60 percent. Somewhere in that area; two-thirds of what I could have accomplished. If I had been a really dedicated person, and really worked hard, I think I could have accomplished more.
I first saw Arnold Palmer when I was just a kid and he came to Columbus to play in a tournament. I watched him on the driving range hit balls that day. We went on to become great friends.
Well, I think that Augusta is not the same golf course that I grew up on. Bobby Jones’ philosophy was giving you space off the tee; if you put it in the right side of the fairway, you ended up getting the right angle to the green.
The long irons are the nemesis of the average golfer. I’m convinced that the underlying reason for this is that he keeps hearing how hard they are to handle. They’re not that difficult, truly.
I’ve never set up any golf course that would favor anybody. I try to make it exactly the opposite, which is what we did at Valhalla when we modernized it to accommodate the lengths players are hitting it today.
I couldn’t control Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Tom Watson or Lee Trevino. The only person I could control was me. The only person I could prepare for events was me. And if I didn’t play well, I didn’t play well, and I wasn’t going to compete.