Corey Pavin

Corey Pavin

The captain of the United States 2010 Ryder Cup team explains why a winning attitude is the key to success.

Raise Your Game: Do you still have that same sensation of enjoyment every time you go on to a golf course?

Corey Pavin: I do. I enjoy playing golf and I can't imagine doing anything else. It's a great way of making a living, but it's something I've always wanted to do ever since I was a little kid. It's always been my dream to be a professional golfer. I've been very fortunate that my dream came true.

Profile

Name:
Corey Allen Pavin

Born:
16 November 1959

From:
Oxnard, California

Game:
Golf

Achievements:

  • Selected as 2010 Ryder Cup US captain
  • Winner of the US Open (1995)
  • Ryder Cup wins (1991, 1993)
  • PGA Tour victories: 15
  • International tournament victories: 12
  • Arnold Palmer Award (1991)

RYG: How important is etiquette and good behaviour on the golf course?

CP: Whether you are playing on a PGA tour or European tour, we, as professional golfers, have to play properly to show everybody how to behave on a golf course. Honesty and integrity are very important to golf and they should always be important to golf.

RYG: Out there today there was a lot of fun and a lot of enjoyment, but there was also a real sense of competition. Instilling that competitiveness is important in young people, how do we do it?

CP: Some people are just born competitive and there's other people that work really hard to be competitive. You have to see what kind of personality they have and nurture it towards that competitive side, if that's where they'd like to go. There's nothing wrong with not being competitive as well.

I think in this world everybody talks about competition, but that's not what it's all about. You can also have a good time while you're taking part, even with the person you're competing against, and that's the healthiest kind of competition I think.

RYG: Do you still get nervous?

CP: Absolutely, I'm nervous right now! I get nervous on the golf course and if I didn't, I think I'd be worried about what I was doing out there. I'm nervous on the first tee of a tournament, as well as when I have the chance to win a tournament. When that goes away, then there's a problem because that means I don't care and I should be caring.

RYG: Do you have any tips for controlling nerves?

CP: It's hard to control nerves. A lot of it is learning from experience. I do slow my pace down because whenever you're nervous you tend to do things quicker, speak quicker, walk quicker, swinging the club, so I just try and slow down and put myself back to my normal pace.

What's the difference between a good player and a great player?

CP: It's that one ingredient that allows you to get over that hurdle, win tournaments and to do what you need to to perform under pressure.


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