Friday interview with PGA Canadian Open player Danny King
This week’s entry involves Danny King, one of the 20 Canadians that played in the PGA’s Canadian Open a few days ago at the Angus Glen Country Club. We are proud to be one of Danny’s corporate sponsors, along with Wrigley’s and others.
I asked Danny to tell us a bit about what it takes to succeed as a professional golfer. He mesmerized the crowd at Angus Glen on the second day with five consecutive birdies on the back nine. After 35 holes, Danny was tied with Mike Weir at -1. One bad shot on the 18th on day two and he unfortunately missed the cut. After the first day, he was tied for 6th of the entire 150 person field with an average drive of 322 yards. Clearly, he deserves to play at the PGA level.
When he’s not playing pro matches, Danny is the head teaching professional at Magna Golf Club in Aurora, Ontario.
The interview comes a week late, but that’s what comes with the territory for us part-time scribes.
Question 1. How do you prepare for a tournament, and what can average players do physically that’s easy to get ready for a round?
A: Preparing for a tournament for the average player should focus on 100 yards and in. The main focus is to be able to recover from a poor shot either approaching the green or off the tee. I’ll always see amateurs prepare for a tournament hitting drivers trying to get that 10 extra yards. No, no, no! Become a specialist around the green and you will reap the rewards. Before a tournament round a player can physically prepare with a diet with slow burning carbs and a variety of fluids throughout the day, you will find players develop a pattern of lulls in their rounds primarily due to bad energy levels.
Question 2. How long should someone warm up at a range prior to a round? Do you take the wedge, 8 iron, 6 iron and driver? And then spend another bit of time hitting puts?
A: The average routine for most players should be 25-35 minutes in length of hitting full shots and then 15 minutes on the putting green, establishing the speed of various lengths. I prefer to start with a 56 degree wedge and feel out different distances and trajectories that will occur that day, then move on to a mid iron, it could be a 7 one day then an 8 the next, again feeling the ball flights and shapes. It is very important to have a “dress rehearsal “ before each round playing and shaping shots with different lengths and trajectories.
Question 3. Where is the easiest place for a high handicapper to cut strokes from a round?
A: The overwhelming answer would be the putting green or short game areas as mentioned before. When you’re putting average can be less than 2 putts per green or your sand save percentage equates to 50%, then we can work on the full swing.
Question 4. How many lessons does it take to cover the basics, once you’ve got a set of clubs and a desire to learn? What are the key areas that require individual sessions?
A: To answer this question several key ingredients are required to make the end result; dedication, time spent practicing and patience! Depending on the students’ ability to absorb the information and translate it into a feeling could takes months, maybe years. Unfortunately we live in a microwave society and don’t commit more time and patience to developing into great players.
Question 5. You seem awfully close to playing at the PGA level. Tied with Mike Weir after 35 holes at the Canadian Open last Friday is quite an accomplishment for anyone who isn’t on the PGA Tour. What do you think it’ll take to cross that last chasm?
A: My road to the PGA tour will blossom very shortly, I believe that balance of spiritual, physical and mental preparation to compete in that arena is very complete and strong, and my ability to repeat a golf swing that produces consistent results as improved every year of the 5 year business plan. I have 2 years remaining to achieve a long time dream become reality! My experience competing at this year’s Canadian Open was very positive one; looking forward I will improve on the red zone or 125 yards from the hole and the total fairways hit. This will result in more birdies and reduce the amount of errors at that level of course set up.
Question 6. How does golf compare to hockey or tennis or other sports? Is it more teachable? Can you learn it and get good later in life? And if so, why?
A: I believe that you can learn the game of golf very easily, improving each facet of the game will take years to improve. I believe a big advantage of learning or playing the game at and early stage in life (5 to 10 yrs) will allow you to develop your own unique way of swinging the club without instruction and playing 36 holes a day figuring out how to create different shots. If you are at a later stage in life and learning the game, a good coach will always be the most efficient road to take for future success.
Question 7. What’s on your iPod?
A: I love a variety of music from Green Day, Van Morrison, Boccielli, Traj Hip and you can’t forget Kenny Chestney and Toby Keith!
Thanks very much Danny. We are proud of our association with you. Best of luck at the Canadian Tour Jane Rogers Championship Tournament later this month.