Rival skippers Tony Jacklin and Bernard Gallacher divulged some of the advice they will give to their
team members during the inaugural Titans Cup.
The clash, comprising members, staff and guests of the two biggest golf course management companies in the region, is being billed as Ryder Cup for the amateurs, but both captains said they will make a conscious effort to make sure their team members do not get too excited about the competition.
“It’s a Ryder Cup-style contest, but I will try and tell them not to think too much about it and just enjoy their round of golf. At the same time, both Tony and I, we do want to win,” said Gallacher, a three-time captain of the European Ryder Cup team, including Oak Hill in 1995, after which the Americans have won just twice out of nine editions.
The 67-year-old Gallacher, one of the longest-serving head professionals at Wentworth and winner of 10 European Tour titles, added: “I think one of the things I have been impressing upon the amateurs over nearly 25 years of working at Wentworth and at events, is to reach about 20 minutes earlier, go to the practice range and hit clubs starting from the wedge to the driver.
“The problem is, we pros keep saying but nobody wants to listen. They will come and take out the driver and hit the ball as hard as they can. Some won’t even practice. So, they start without warming up properly.
“I have always said that I can improve people’s game by not even watching them hit a single shot. If they just arrive earlier and hit wedges and work through their bag for 20 minutes and make some putts, they’ve got a great chance to play to their handicaps.”
Jacklin, winner of two majors, said: “I think the beauty of the tournament is the format we are playing. Pairs Texas Scramble means there is going to be less pressure on each player, and I certainly do not want too much pressure on myself at the age of 71.
“When you go into an event like this, I think everybody makes a very human mistake – they rush. I focused all my career trying to work a good tempo and breathe properly while playing golf. When we are nervous, we start doing things quicker and want it all to finish sooner. The key is to breath and focus on your rhythm and that is what I am going to tell my players.”
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