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  • Writer's pictureDel Chatterson

Learning from the pros

I had the pleasure recently of visiting the Zurich Classic at TPC Louisiana. Aside from watching Mike Weir practicing huge flop shots from 30 feet to the hole, John Daly rolling them into the cup, and David Duval cranking long drives a mile off the fairway I also got to watch Retief Gooosen's smooth swing close up.

Almost too close.

It was the Pro-Am day and I was wandering away from the three amateurs playing with David Duval thinking "Money can buy you a ticket to play, but you can't buy class." It's not the first time I've seen amateurs break the rules of etiquette. Dropping cigarettes on the green, improving their lie in the rough (The worst offender was PM Jean Chretien at the Canadian Open with Tiger Woods. At one point Tiger offered him a tee.) But one idiot with David Duval couldn't resist getting on the cell phone (in spite of all the signs saying NO CELL PHONES) and boasting "Yeah, I'm actually playing in the Pro-Am with David Duval."

But as I rounded the corner and headed up the cart path towards the 10th tee I noticed some poor amateur way off the fairway across the cart path and under the trees about to hit the ball straight at me. Oops, that's no amateur, that's Retief Goosen! So I backed out of his way and watched his silky swing pick it off the pine needles and send it over the bunkers and trees right onto the green. These guys are good.

I have a video of Retief on the tee. It's a good image to keep in mind next time I'm setting up to tee off.

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