Steve Williams offers advice to young pros at NZ PGA
One of the biggest name’s in New Zealand golf, Steve Williams is on hand this week to help guide young up and coming Kiwi golfers.
Williams is a man who needs little introduction; a highly successful caddy he has teamed up with some of the greatest players in the game including Greg Norman, Tiger Woods and Adam Scott.
Steve Williams and Tiger Woods (Credit: www.golffile.ie)
But it was a Tour Rookie, Lachie McDonald, who Williams was working with at Remuera Golf Club in Auckland ahead of the Holden NZ PGA Championship.
“Today was the first time I met Lachie. His parents contacted me to see if I could come out and offer some sort of guidance on what it takes to be a professional golfer, the preparation involved and some of the downfalls guys can come into,” said Williams.
“Lachie has just turned Pro, he has come through Tour School and got his card so it’s all new for him. It’s great to come out here and see how excited a young guy is.”
“I walked with Lachie to offer him some guidance, not so much on his game, but on his course management skills, how you look at things, how you prepare for a tournament, things to look for in the future and what steps you take to become a better player.”
Motivated by his hope to see more New Zealand golfers on the world’s biggest stage, Williams is happy to impart some of his wisdom on those keen to learn.
“For me, the biggest thrill I have had caddying, and I have had a lot of thrills, is being involved with other New Zealanders on the course,” added Williams.
“Like when Tiger Woods was facing off against Michael Campbell at the US Open, or Tiger Woods facing off against Grant Waite at the Canadian Open. Those things are exciting when you are going up against another New Zealander.”
“I have been out here a long time and experienced a lot, I have been fortunate to caddy for some great players, and I have learnt a lot over the years.”
“We don’t have a lot of New Zealanders playing the grandest stage in golf, which is the PGA TOUR at the moment, so any young guys that come along and want some advice; it’s great to be able to pass that information on.”
The best piece of advice Williams believes he can offer young Pros is to stick with what got them to this point in their careers.
“One of the downfalls I see with young guys is when they turn Pro, they get out on Tour and they go away from what got them there in the first place,” added Williams.
“What got them to being a very good player as an amateur; they just need to take that with them and keep going.”
“They don’t need to change a lot; they are obviously good enough to get their cards. But a lot of guys get out here and all of a sudden they change equipment and coaches, they are looking for different things.”
“In my belief, from what I have learnt over the years, what got you to where you are today you carry that on and do that better.”
Lachie McDonald who has just joined the PGA Tour of Australasia, earning his card via Qualifying School, soaked up every minute of his time with Williams.
“Steve was really generous in offering up his time; he came out this morning and walked a practice round with us,” said McDonald.
“It was a bit nerve racking but he was a relaxed Kiwi guy and once we got into things it was awesome, it was humbling to have him out for the morning.”
“We received some valuable information from him, it’s not every day you meet a guy who has been on the bag for Tiger and Adam who obviously won last week, it was a really good experience.”
Williams joined McDonald, Tyler Hodge and amateur Ryan Chisnall for their practice round today where they learned more is less.
“Steve had a pretty relaxed approach to how he maps out a practice round, and it really resonated with the three of us who played with him,” added McDonald.
“It wasn’t rocket science, just keep things simple. It was really nice to get advice from a person of his stature.”
“He was also able to give us some pretty specific advice on this course. He has been around here a bit.”
“There were holes where he said ‘you don’t want to hit it right here’ or ‘you want to make sure you keep it on the left side of the green’ just little things that were really helpful. He obviously knows his stuff so anything he was putting forward we were taking on board.”
It would seem McDonald has already taken on board the most important piece of advice Williams hoped to convey.
“I will obviously take a couple of things on board but I’ll still stick to my guns and do what I usually do to prepare for a tournament.”
“I am fairly new as a Professional so I don’t think now is the time to be changing a lot. I am excited for the week ahead.”
The Holden NZ PGA Championship will be played at Remuera Golf Club starting tomorrow.
Source – PGA Australia