Many of us have certain times when a nervous moment arises on the golf course. For the most part, I play with a care free attitude, and worry less than I should. Sometimes though, especially after a break, I do feel a few jitters on the first tee box. I place some golf rounds rounds in a “priority” category. These in particular can induce a few butterflies. Do other players feel the same cringe every now and again?
Wayne Gretzky claims he’s not comfortable playing in front of people, and that “there’s nothing worse than having a three-foot putt in front of 100 people.” He is currently promoting the Ford Wayne Gretzky Classic that he will host June 26 through 29. Amateurs … including Gretzky, will pair up with a tour pro and try to make the cut as a team.
“At best, I could be about a seven-handicap if I took a year to work on my game – my habits in golf are so erratic and poor that to break that all down would be tough for my mind to do”
Gretzky is famous for an outing in which he hit a U.S. Secret Service agent who was up in a tree looking out for former U.S. president, Gerald Ford. (I wish I had some video of that!)
“We’re creatures of habit,” he said. “My habit is to slice the ball. Five of 10 drives I’ll hit straight and five out of 10 I’ll hit into the water to the right.”
Mike Weir once told Gretzsky that it was every kid’s dream to play in the last group at Pebble Beach. Wayne says that it is more of a nightmare! He dreamed as a kid of being in the seventh game of a Stanley Cup final, not in the final group of a PGA Tour event.
Gretzky will come into the Nationwide tournament as a recent winner.
He and his pro partner, Chris Nallen, won the pro-am at the Nationwide’s BMW Charity Pro-Am May 18. Given the win, Gretzky should be able to fore-go some of his anxiety.
I can’t remember the last time I had 100 people watching me play. The largest group watching me hit a ball? Maybe 70 …. that was nerve-racking enough!