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Golf: Arrogance is the Answer?

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Stan Sutherland
Stan Sutherland

"Rickie Fowler's the nicest guy in the world. But you've got to get, and there's no other way, I mean you've just got to get a little meaner, and a little bit more arrogant.” That’s from Brandel Chamblee who’s suggesting that’s what Rickie Fowler needs to do to turn his list of  runner-up finishes into his first major title.

Is arrogance really the answer?
I’d suggest, ‘different strokes for different folks’ and nice guys like Freddie Couples have done rather well without being arrogant. Nevertheless I do agree with Brandel that, “We view arrogance with such disdain in our society. It's like, why? Why? If you don't believe in yourself, who the hell will? And arrogance in sport is a good thing. It serves you well. It may not make you the best dinner companion, it may not make you the greatest corporate push man. But it serves you well. And I hope that this finish at the Masters will make him, at least internally, more arrogant."

Wa’ll who’s gonna be second?
My very favourite professional golfer is the late Walter (The Haig) Hagen and his oft-quoted, “Wa’ll who’s gonna be second?” could be construed as an arrogant statement but no one reading of his exploits should be left with thought that it’s arrogance and simply symptomatic of the man’s self-belief. Who else but he would intentionally play himself into trouble for the fun of it and the  opportunity to display his showmanship.

And then there’s the Golden Bear
Most times when I think of what I consider arrogance in the context of golf and what’s said about it, I think of Jack Nicklaus’ statement.

Dan Hafner dateline March 24, 1990 writes, “Nicklaus Challenged, Challenger as Senior.
The (Senior) tour has grown quietly from two tournaments with a total purse of $250,000 in 1980 to 42 with almost $18 million in prize money this year.
 Then Nicklaus shattered the seniors' serenity, telling Golf Digest he really wasn't much interested in joining the old-timers. For one thing, he thought he could still win on the regular PGA Tour.
It was especially upsetting to many when he said: "Fellows who were marginal players on the regular tour are now doing quite well as seniors. I don't find it a challenge to play against the same guys I've beaten for 30 years."
(Dave) Hill was outraged.

"I always thought Jack was quite a guy," Hill said. "I don't any longer. He's an . . . I hope that some of us marginal players can hammer him at Scottsdale. I'm going to be doing my best.”

It appears that Dave Hill shares with me the thought that Jack was a tad arrogant but if so for sure it worked for him.

Link to Brandel’s thoughts  and Dan Hafner

Quote of the Day
"No one remembers who came in second." - Walter Hagen


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