Edition 1429
24 June 2017
Edition: 1429

Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.

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“Those who can, do, and those who can’t, teach”

by Advertiser, in Sport · 11-05-2017 15:21:00 · 0 Comments

There is a saying which goes, “Those who can, do, and those who can’t, teach.” It’s a quote which I have always struggled with because in its essence it means if you coach you can’t play.

“Those who can, do, and those who can’t, teach”

My conflict with this statement is that I must have failed as a player, if all I do is coach. Harsh but true, if you take the statement at face value. Some may comment firmly yet fairly, “If you are not playing at the highest level, you’re not good enough.” Again, tough to argue with.
All I have done for the last two years is coach. Yet the player inside has been itching to get out and compete. So last week I managed to get out and play a tournament, the Optilink PGA Portugal Open, where all of the National PGA Members entered and turned up to compete for the prize money, very generously supported by Optilink. 
Preparation for the Tournament started in January when I set about the task of losing weight to allow myself to move and swing more freely. My last article showed that process had been somewhat flawed as I managed to lose twenty-one pounds and then put on eight, through complacency and a lack of consistency. The plan was also to go out and play more golf, which I managed to do, having played three times this year, job done. You may be starting to notice that this isn’t exactly Olympic level preparation.
However I did manage to have five good practice sessions prior to the tournament. Everything felt fine, untested, but fine. So with an air of optimism, nerves and excitement, off I went to Palmares to compete on the ever lovely Lagos and Praia loops. The words of my wife still in my ears, “Have fun and enjoy yourself.” So that’s what I did.
You could not have seen a calmer, appreciative individual on the course, no glimpse of a Montgomerie frown or any such behaviour. One step at a time and one shot at a time. Taking nothing for granted whilst enjoying every minute. Eventually I found myself on the eighteenth with a putt for a birdie which would have left me with 68 shots and four under. Putt missed so a 69 it was. 
Remarkably that placed me in the penultimate group for the final day’s play. Six shots off the pace from first place and one shot off second. The problem for me was that a full eighteen holes with a Powakaddy pulling me around the course had taken its toll. The feet had held up, the body was OK but the energy levels had been somewhat depleted. Only eighteen holes to go and with a hopeful step and optimistic heart I set forward to the task at hand.
It’s probably a good time to mention that the second round was going to be in the company of two 2017 battle hardened full time playing Professionals whose only source of income is competitive golf. I couldn’t help but remember the Lee Trevino quote when he turned fifty and was still competing on the regular Tour, “It’s little old me against the flat bellies!” Well they put on a show Friday past. The two Pros were Ricardo Santos and João Carlota.
Ricardo, being the 2012 European Tour Rookie of the Year and João, being a seriously good, up-and-coming Pro who hits it a country mile. Ricardo glided round the course with three eagles and six birdies and João, with eight birdies, both carding 62 and 64 respectively. My score was 77, fifteen shots worse than Ricardo, the eventual winner. 
It was a pleasure to watch two Pros in full flight and in pursuit of each other, comforting too, that my scoring certainly didn’t affect their scoring. I finished two over par for the tournament and in a tie for 9th spot. Respectable(ish). 
Looking back at my performance it was a combination of a lack of match sharpness alongside a shockingly poor fitness level. This left me looking at the final hill at Palmares like a WW2 bomber returning to base with two engines blown, barely able to make it over the trees short of the runway. 
So to the expression, “Those who can, do, those who can’t, teach.” Perhaps it’s possible to do both, sometimes on the rare occasion.

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Edition 1429
24 June 2017
Edition: 1429

Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.

Twitter