I wanted to send a shout out to Bob Panasik who took the time to contact me about 2 months ago.
I have know Panny for 35 years and we even roomed together in Florida early in my professional career. Panny can be vary humorous and quick-witted when you get a chance to talk to him.
It was during the mid 1980’s in Florida when Panny, Moe Norman and I would practice at Royal Oak beginning at 7am each morning. In those days the Canadian Tour players (including Panny and Moe who both still competed on the Canadian Tour) would winter in Florida and take advantage of the golf course and practice facilities which were owned back then by the PGA of Canada.
In any case the 3 of us like clockwork would be practicing for hours alone every morning. It would be a few hours before anyone else would show up to practice. This went on for a couple of months straight. Panny and Moe often wondered how come the other Canadian Tour players were so late in arriving to practice, especially since everyone lived in the condos surrounding the golf course and all aspired to be the best they could be. Then one day Panny told me that he had finally figured out why these guys on the Canadian Tour were all so late in showing up for practice each day……..”it was because they were all sponsored by the mattress company Sealy Posturepedic.”
I often think of this all these years later when I head out in the morning to practice.
So this past October, Panny called me because he had heard that I was struggling with my putting and as he has done for years he offered me a great piece of advise on how to approach this issue from a mental perspective. Specifically on a pre shot routine and how to speak to myself prior to the stroke and also combine the breathing component in the process for everything to tie in together.
Then sure enough as happens whenever I speak with Panny the conversation soon extended into the short game area and full swing as we discussed how to approach each shot. In any case it really helped compartmentalize things and narrow my focus more specifically which is always a good thing in golf.
So thanks again Panny. I know this will work and as always I appreciate you taking the time to offer your expertise.
I also wanted to take the time to write about Craig Marseilles who has long been a top player, played on the Canadian Tour for around 20 years and qualified for a couple of US Opens as well as a Champions Tour event a few years ago.
Craig and I were partners on the International Team back in 1992. If memory serves me we were playing the American team of Billy Ray Brown and Chris DiMarco and we were dormie – 5 down with 5 to go. In typical Marseilles fashion we ground our way back into the match with 4 consecutive birdies before being closed out on the 18th green.
Craig has had a run of bad health for the past couple of years and is finding it difficult to play anywhere near his former level. To be with Craig in the parking lot after playing at St Andrews Valley in 2014 when he had his second seizure was one of the most disturbing and concerning things I have experienced.
This past August Craig entered the Canadian Seniors Championship even though he knew he was up against it physically and competed with all his peers. It was truly a moving experience for me to see a guy who use to compete at the highest levels put himself out there. In an era today where so many professionals drop off the competitive stage because of age or so many of the young pros don’t even try to tee it up, fearing the score they post will be observed online or in the newspaper, it was encouraging to see Craig grinding it out as he always has, especially with his limited physical strength.
Craig and I often talked for years about why more pros don’t play in events anymore. That to post a high score is not and indictment on the player. The game of golf is very difficult and only a fool would laugh or comment negatively at anyones score regardless how high the number. Good players understand this perhaps better than most.
Thanks Craig for showing the way and “checking your ego at the first tee” but not your competitive nature. It was great to see you out competing and I hope and wish that all good things will go your way so you can do it again next year.