AUTHOR : CHARLIE EPPS
Known as "The Golf Doctor," Charlie Epps has been one of Houston's most respected PGA professionals for 30 years. He is the Director of Golf at Redstone Golf Club, home of the PGA Tour's Shell Houston Open.
Epps teaches two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and second-year Tour player Bobby Gates. Listen to Epps 9-10 a.m. Saturday mornings on Yahoo! Sports Radio on 1560 AM in Houston, channel 127 pm Sirius satellite and 242 XM.
My editors asked me to give some predictions for the 2012 PGA Tour season.
OK, here we go.
The relatively unknown Charl Schwartzel will win the Masters. Young Rory McIlroy will lap the field and run away with the U.S. Open. For the British Open, Darren Clarke will carve through the dark, rainy weather to capture the Claret Jug.
Are you kidding me?
Of course those aren't my real predictions. Those are last year's results, and who would have predicted them? I can make some predictions for this year—like Tiger Woods having a good year and the United States winning the Ryder Cup—but my predictions are really only based on my wishes. I want Tiger to have a good year, and I always want America to triumph over Great Britain and Ireland in the
So instead of focusing on trying to forecast what will happen and who will win what tournament—in reality, your guess is as good as mine—I will make one actual prediction.
It's going to be a great year for golf.
How do I know that? It's simple. Instead of worrying about
what everyone else is doing, I'm going to do everything I can do to promote and grow the game. I'm tired of all the talk of the "doom and gloom" surrounding the state of the game. I wake up in the morning and get depressed because the weatherman says there is a 30 percent chance of rain. No, that's not the right way to look at it. There's a 70 percent chance of sunshine!
I'm tired of people telling me about the economy and how the game of golf is suffering. Let's stop focusing on the negatives and instead look at the positives.
Let's grow the game of golf.
At Redstone, we have six golf courses and we're in the business of having good years. We're going to do everything in our power to encourage and entice people to visit our properties. I want you to come out and enjoy the Shell Houston Open. I want you to bring your families out to Redstone and enjoy the game of golf.
If more took people took this attitude and focused on doing what they can do to grow the game, it will ensure a good year for golf. Introduce a friend or family member to the game this year. If playing 18 holes takes too much time, then play nine holes. Spend an hour on the range and short game area working on your game. Then go home to be with your family.
If you focus on doing what you can to enjoy the game and make your passion for golf contagious, you'll have a great year. If you play and practice with a purpose, you'll have a great year. If everyone concentrates on these things, there is no way 2012 can't be a good year.
As for the PGA Tour season, well, the winners of the four major championships are going to be the four guys who shoot the lowest scores those weeks. Do I have wishes
for the tour season? Sure, I do. I want Angel Cabrera to get back in the winner's circle.
I want him to contend in the majors. I want Tiger to be Tiger—the player we knew before his injuries and personal setbacks.
If Tiger is healthy and has the right mindset, he will have a good year. What is a "good year" for Tiger? That's simple, too. If he gives it his all every week he plays
and stays healthy, that's all it takes. The results will work out just fine.
My point in all this is that it's not about making predictions. It's about having the attitude and doing everything in your power to accomplish your goals. If you have a passion for golf—and "passion" is the emotion found somewhere between love and rage—then do your part to help grow the game this year. Focus on what you can do to make golf better, and you'll have no choice but to have a good year.