Our Conversation with Sir Nick Part 2: Faldo Unveils Timetable For Return To Course

In part two of Myrtle Beach Golf Trips Ambassador Meredith Kirk’s conversation with Sir Nick Faldo he gives advice to junior golfers, how the game has changed from a knowledge perspective and when we might see him back competing again.

Meredith Kirk: In part two of my conversation with Sir Nick Faldo, he gives advice to junior golfers, how the game has changed from a knowledge perspective, and when we might see him back competing again.

The kids out here… We’re here with the Dustin Johnson World Junior Championship, and these are incredible players. Our top 100 players that we have in the world are here, and they’re out there grinding right now. What advice would you give to those junior golfers, or maybe junior golfers that are not at the elite level, but want to follow in your shoes?

Nick Faldo: What’s the real shortcuts? There’s no real shortcut. I did it the old fashioned way, beat lots of golf balls. But they have so much more knowledge now. I think you just have to open your eyes and ears to everything. You’ve got to understand your golf swing, understand the physical side, because the knowledge is factual now. It’s not a guess. Might as well throw in… obviously your mental strength as well is very important. Your dietary as well, we understand this so much more. What you eat is how you are going to perform tomorrow. I would say, take it all on board. Learn from everything. Pick and choose what really works for you.

The bottom line, you’ve got to find a way. All you’re doing is trying to find your way to have self belief and trust in your own game. That’s the most…. And only you get that. Somebody can tell you, “Oh, you’re great. You look great”. But if the little voice inside’s saying, “I’m not too sure”, well, guess what? That’s where you are. So you’ve got to do enough where you actually go, ” Hey, I know what I’m doing now. I can go and compete and I will learn from compete”.

The other bit of advice I give kids is, try and be factual. When you go and play, and you’ve shot the 82, and then “I can’t play. I’m useless. I can’t do it”. Then you go, “Hang on a minute. Oh six drives went in the right rough. And then from the right rough, they went into the left bunker”. See? Go back to the facts. Try and be… After you thrown the clubs against the wall, I say, ” Yeah, you can lose the head for 30 seconds, and then stop yourself”. And then go, ” All right. Is that helping? No. Okay”. And then you ask yourself, “I guess, what was the facts today? Well, I pulled every iron shot, or I did this wrong or I did this”. So, then you’ve got something constructive to work on. Well, that’s the fun of the game. But then you go back and you grind like crazy, You beat balls, you learn, you go back and test yourself, and hopefully you’ve moved on a bit.

Meredith Kirk: Right. It’s so much of that mental side. And how do you move from, let’s say you have a really poor hole? How do you get over that? What do you tell someone? How do you mentally get out of that, and shake it off?

Nick Faldo: Well, it’s a tough… I did all sorts of tricks. You can put that eight on a train and the train is on a track, so the train goes that way, while you walk that way, so you’re getting further away from it.

Another cool trick is to go try and get… I used to say, “Okay, two weeks have gone by. ‘ By the time it’s two weeks… you can’t remember what you had for lunch yesterday, can you? So how the hell can you, “I took an eight two weeks ago,” and where’s the emotion? There’s no emotion now. The worst thing is carrying the emotion to the next tee. If you can deal with it… Sure, call yourself every name under the sun, whatever, and somehow find a bit of motivation, but somehow… and you’ve got to have other tricks. You learn to cross the line. I had my sports psychologist on my bag and he knew I used to rant if I hit bad shot, and he used to say, “Fine,” he said, “but as soon as you cross that imaginary line, it’s done.” Which is another good way. So once you’re like, “I did this…” and then you walk forward and you have to go, “Boom. It’s history. It’s gone.” Move on. I mean, that is all part of your mental strength, your mental tricks, because that’s the hardest thing in this game is memories, isn’t it?

Meredith Kirk: Yeah, it is. It really is. Yeah, getting past that…

Nick Faldo: Because most of our memories, we tend to remember typically the bad stuff. “Oh yeah. Last time I played this hole at 14, I took a seven and I hit the trees, then I hit the bunker, dah, dah, dah, on the green, three putt.” And what have you just pictured? So, that’s another trick. What are you picturing? So, you then learn to stop yourself and go, “Okay. That was last time, so today what do I want to do?” And that’s quite cool, and you can say, “Ah, I want to hit it there and then I’ll hit it on the green, right at the flag and I’ll hole the putt,” and you’ve got rid of the picture. So that’s another trick, is pictures. You hear me talk about it on TV. Visualization is the most powerful thing in anything. So you’ve got to be able to do it in some shape, whether you’re doing it consciously or subconsciously.

Meredith Kirk: Right. Got to have the intention?

Nick Faldo: Yeah, exactly. That’s another great word. That’s another great word. You learn from that Deepak Chopra. When you stand over a five footer and actually ask yourself, “So what’s my intention?” Well if you say, “I don’t care if I miss it,” well…

Meredith Kirk: Then you’ll probably… you could miss it.

Nick Faldo: Well, you will do. You probably will do. But if you just go, “Oh, my intention is, if I hit it on that left edge, it’s going to curl and I’m going to hit the back and then go boom.” That’s my intention. Well, actually your first intention is to hole it. Okay. How are you going to hole it? Well, I’ve got to do that? And how’s the stroke? Then you piece it all together. If you go, “I don’t know,” what picture if you say, “I don’t know?” There’s no picture.

Meredith Kirk: Yeah. It’s like that old proverb, as a man thinketh, he is.

Nick Faldo: Yeah.

Meredith Kirk: You know, there’s so much power to all that. Really good tips. When are we going to see you out competing again?

Nick Faldo: I’m thinking about it.

Meredith Kirk: We’re all cheering for you. Come on Sir. Nick.

Nick Faldo: Well I haven’t really… It’s tough, because this game… I hit balls. I love hitting balls. I want to compete. I tried it a couple of years ago. I was so demoralized at how bad I was. So then you like… But then this great thing about this game is you reboot yourself and go, “Look, I really would… could I have another go?” So, I’m thinking about it for the summer. So I’ve already started practicing and thinking, what have I got to do? And trying to make the body last four days. So, that’s the great thing about our game. I’m not going to roll over until I’ve had one more… I just want one more good, decent performance.

Meredith Kirk: All right. You heard it. I love that.

Nick Faldo: Yeah, we’re trying. We’re still trying. Still trying. All right, cool.

Meredith Kirk: All right. Well, thanks so much for your time.

Nick Faldo: Okay. All right.

Meredith Kirk: And have a great time while you’re here at TPC Myrtle Beach.

Nick Faldo: Thanks a lot. Cheers.