Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Monday, May 08, 2006

Football updates

AC Milan won over Parma. The Serie A champion will be known only until the last game. Wow! The Rossoneri is only 3 points from Juve.
On the other hand, my favorite German Budesliga team, Bayern is all but proclaimed champion -- their 20th season cahampionship.

Bob Casper writes about his Dad

Bob Casper writes about his Dad. I guess part of the ""Earl Woods phenomenon"?


Lessons learned
Fathers can teach their sons about golf ... and life

For me, golf is the greatest game on the planet, and for the most part I learned it from my father, just as Tiger Woods learned from his dad. Even though Earl Woods never played on the PGA Tour, he knew the game and obviously knew how to teach it to his son, how to build Tiger's character and toughness and train him to become the world's best golfer.

Meanwhile, I feel fortunate to have learned from my dad, one of the best golfers of his generation.

Even though the two fathers came from different perspectives, I believe they shared some of the same passions, and whether it was hands-on training or just watching from afar, sons can appreciate the lessons instilled in them by their fathers. Certainly Tiger did, calling his father his "greatest role model."

As a kid, I remember that my dad's job as a pro golfer required him to be gone for weeks at a time. That was how he supported our family, and a part of life. To me, my father was mostly like anyone else's dad, mine just played a game for a living. But it wasn't until I was in high school that I realized the magnitude of his accomplishments.

Golf was never pushed upon me in my youth. My father allowed us to choose the sports we wanted to pursue, and I enjoyed playing baseball. To help develop my baseball skills, I spent days with my father as he practiced golf at the San Diego Country Club. I would shag shots with my baseball glove, from a sand wedge all the way up to a five-iron, as he prepared for the next events on his Tour schedule.

Meanwhile, in the Woods family, Earl wouldn't let Tiger play golf until the son's homework was done. Earl wanted to make sure that Tiger was learning the game with the proper perspective.

I always enjoyed the travel that I was able to experience as a part of my dad's chosen profession. My favorite times with my father were when I had the chance to travel with him one-on-one when he played in tournaments. One such event was the Western Open in Chicago. My father represented Wilson Sporting Goods for his equipment. This tournament meant I had the chance to go to the factory with my father to watch as his clubs were worked on and for me to look through catalogues and bring home some of the latest athletic equipment.

I can remember the first full set of golf clubs I received on one such visit. It was a set complete with his signature. I was proud to possess them and I was instantly hooked on the game. I wonder if there was such a moment for Tiger. I suspect there was.

In my early teens, I attended my father's golf camps where instructors instilled the foundation of the basic fundamentals of the game. Between these camps and his personal instruction, my father taught me not only the game of golf but also about the game of life.

Lessons from fathers as well as others have helped in the development of many other golfers besides Tiger. Harvey Penick, a father-like figure if there ever was one, made a profound influence on many he came in contact with, including Ben Crenshaw and Tom Kite. His little red book is full of the nuggets he tried to pass along.

I attended many of my father's speaking engagements where he would tell stories of successes in tournaments and major championships. His achievements always came as a result of his "Formula for Success." This formula consisted of what he termed "The 5 D's."

1. Desire: An overwhelming burning deep inside to want to become the best he could possibly be in his profession.

2. Devotion: Not only being devoted to the pursuit of becoming the best but also the knowledge that he needed help to accomplish his desires after all his hard work, that being a faith in God.

3. Dedication: To become the best, he had to dedicate long, hard hours along the path to the goal and its end result.

4. Discipline: He knew that to become the best golfer he could be, discipline and consistency were vital. It took discipline to spend the hours necessary through hard work to polish skills.

5. Determination: And finally, the determination in knowing that no matter what obstacles he faced, poor results or missed cuts in tournaments, giving up was never an option; he just needed to apply the formula with more conviction.

Today, golf is an opportunity for us to share experiences playing and competing together. I enjoy a round of golf with my dad. I also look forward to opportunities when we can compete in father/son events. Winning an event with my father as we teamed at Johnny Miller's Champions Challenge was probably the highlight of my golfing career, and for me a small glimpse into what it takes to be a champion.

I feel sad that Tiger will never again get a chance to enjoy a golfing moment with his dad. But at least the memories will remain. Tiger and Earl shared so much together, and golf was a key element in their heartwarming relationship. I may not play like Tiger, but I can certainly understand why they were so close.

Bob Casper is the son of three-time major winner Billy Casper.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Tiger's Dad

Earl Woods, the father of Tiger, died Wednesday morning, 3 May.
Tiger writes in his website:

"My dad was my best friend and greatest role model, and I will miss him deeply."

Tiger comments on his father, Earl, who passed away May 3rd at the age of 74. The family has asked in lieu of flowers to please send all donations to:

The Earl Woods Scholarship Fund
c/o Tiger Woods Learning Center
One Tiger Woods Way
Anaheim, CA. 92801