To share is to learn

A week has gone by since the World Amateur Team Championship concluded in Buenos Aires. I have gotten over the time difference and re-adjusted to the slightly cooler European conditions, rather than the springlike South American. I have always said that the perhaps most important reason to compete in events like the Eisenhower Trophy, European Championships or other major events is to benchmark ourselves and find out where we are strong, what we can improve in relation to our competitors and to learn from the highest level of our sport. This time was no difference and I know, having discussed with them, that all our three players came back with loads of really important information and lessons learnt about their own game and what they need to do to develop further. The Eisenhower Trophy is a bit of a one-off event given that it only has three players from each of the participating countries. It is likely that the number 4 player from the US, France, England and any of the major golfing countries is stronger than some of the top ranked players from the smaller countries. Therefore the starting field will by no means be the strongest these players compete in during the season. In fact, Brad James, the Australian Performance Director and previously the coach at the University of Minnesota, said there are probably 50 college events that are stronger than the Eisenhower. Having said this, the only time that the best amateurs from all parts of the World come together to compete is this, which means that winning is pretty special and the top 10 or top 20 is as strong as it can ever be in amateur golf.

Winning no doubt requires a lot of hard work and determination, not just from players but from the whole staff and set-up. It is interesting therefore that the person most keen to develop an idea we had over a coffee in Buenos Aires – to organise a day for Performance Directors from a number of countries to discuss various issues with a view to learn from each other – is the French Performance Director. Having just come back victorious he cannot wait to continue to build on what they have and learn from others to improve any weaknesses. And in my world, that is the key. Open rather than closed. Linux rather than Microsoft…

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