“To give yourself the best possible chance of playing to your potential, you must prepare for every eventuality. That means practice.”
– Seve Ballesteros
Who has inspired me? I will start off by saying that I only recall having one golfing hero or influence as a teenager. One or two others come to mind which I will talk about further on. Fortunately however, there have been many influencing players to choose from, and so many golfing legends that have – in their own individual way – influenced me. From “senior” geniuses like Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Ernie Els, Greg Norman, Nick Faldo to name just a few, right the way through to modern-day greats such as Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson, Rory Mcilroy…the list is enormous.
It would be repugnant of me to disregard Tiger Woods from that list of greats. In my own personal opinion, the modern game that we golfers enjoy is a result of Tiger. His achievements on the whole are currently unmatched, and in my opinion, will remain so for quite some time. The dominance he has shown together with such strength in the mind has been phenomenal to witness. He also showed the importance of the physical FITNESS side of the sport, which still today remains “key” in terms of success in the sport. It has been a huge influence to myself in my own fitness routines and gym work. Finally and on a personal note, he also hit the best golf shot I have ever seen to date, at the 2005 Masters, which I hope to remember until my deathbed.
My Hero and my guidance…
There is one person however, who I have always looked up to, even in my teens. When most people of my age category were admiring the likes of TW and Phil Mickleson, I couldn’t help my ‘attraction’ to one certain player. And since finding my passion for the game, the admiration for this man has simply grown to the extent whereby I almost feel like I truly owe him something. He is the late Severiano Ballesteros Sota – “Seve”.
Seve for me optimised everything a golfer should be; from the swashbuckling style of his golf swing, through his immensely clever shot manufacturing and creativity, to his winning mentality and mental strength. Seve managed to display all of this and still maintain his kind persona and likeable characteristics. Whilst perhaps controversial at times to some people, it was during those controversial moments though when he displayed his brutal honesty and maintained his integrity – which I absolutely love and adore.
I have sat for hours upon hours, watching my collection of Seve documentaries, and each time the determination and level of practice which he put into the game as a child and adult, amazes me. Through adversity, he never gave up on his dreams and it is this example of sheer will and effort that drives me on my JT4, and gives me belief that anything may be possible.