ETSU’s Warren learns from Watson’s presser

Tom Watson during a press conference July 14 at the British Open.

Tom Watson during a press conference July 14 at the British Open.


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ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – East Tennessee State coach Fred Warren doesn’t need to buy Tom Watson’s "Lessons of a Lifetime'' DVD. He got all the lessons he needed from listening to Watson’s British Open press conference.

You can have all the swing gurus, sports psychologists, fitness instructors, dieticians and snake oil salesmen you want, but Watson’s wisdom can’t be beaten.

Watson’s wisdom dictates that getting to know the challenge you face is far more important than where the clubhead is at the top of the swing, or whether the shaft is on the correct plane.

The five-time Open champion attended the champions’ dinner in the Royal & Ancient clubhouse on Tuesday night, and the talk wasn’t of mechanics. Past champions talked about the key element that younger players and amateurs sometimes ignore.

“We were basically talking about the golf course, how to play the golf course,” Watson said. “If you really kind of boil it down, what matters is how you play these golf courses.

“That’s what you have to figure out. That’s what Nicklaus was so good at doing. He came and prepared. He always said: ‘I’m never going to be out-prepared when I play a golf tournament, a major championship.’

“He certainly kept his word at that. There’s not enough that can be said for the proper preparation as far as strategy and how to play the golf course.”

Music to Fred Warren’s ears.

“That’s what I tell my players,” Warren said. “I’m going to take that back with me. Maybe if I can’t get through to them, then they’ll listen to Tom Watson.”

Warren left St Andrews with a transcript of Watson’s interview.

Look out for ETSU this season.

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