You may joke that you can’t become an athlete by watching TV, and that may be true, but I think that it is true that watching superior athletes in person can improve your ability.
Every year I walk the course at Capital Hills (the Albany Municipal Course) in Albany, New York to monitor, observe and be stunned by the young women on the Women’s Futures Tournament. The Albany tournament is the final round and after three days ten of these young women will “get their card”—meaning they can join the LPGA Tour.
These are beautiful athletes. Skilled, driven, disciplined, polished and poised. They are not however, for the most part, rich. They sleep on couches and in guest rooms and drive themselves to the next city. Their coach/caddy is a usually a Dad, brother, friend or another golfer. These are some of the hardest working women you will ever see, and they are young—maybe 16 to 25 years old.
Each year I add something to my game by watching them. As I learn more about golf I can recognize what I am trying for on another player and it is especially helpful to see what I am aiming for on another woman’s body. Today I made the translation from a Pilate’s technique to a golfer’s shoulder/arm position. Shoulders are down and back but “where you get blood drawn” faces outward—this brings the most power to your swing from the back rather than the arms. That’s skill and economy. Now I get it!
The other thing I love about watching the Futures women each year is their drive—their big golf swings yes –but also their personal drive. These are young women who go to school and work at jobs and train hard and play golf six days a week. No whining. No slacking. They have what Caroline Adams Miller refers to as “grit” in her book, “Creating Your Best Life”.
So no wonder you can feel the crowd pulling for them. The Women’s Futures fans have so much respect for how hard these young women live, not just play.