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Fame & Fortune
Hale Irwin
Hale Irwin
College football star chose career busting par, not heads.
Celebrity interview

Cautious, but shoots for pin if time's right

Bankrate: You've been outspoken in your disapproval of golfers who just linger in the money without ever going for the wins.

Irwin: There are a lot of guys with talent, but there aren't enough competitors. From years ago to today's player, there are a lot of guys who are seemingly just satisfied with the money. I think they would fare better if they set their goals a little higher. But not everybody, I'm learning, wants to or can push themselves to their limits or beyond. Maybe it's because of my background and how I approached playing sports and golf that I've been able to do that. I don't have a problem trying to reach beyond. I think part of me always tries to set that level a little bit higher. With ordinary circumstances, I think I'm up there in the top of the pack in that sense. I think if a lot of guys just reached a little higher, set the bar a little higher, they would probably achieve better results.

Bankrate: Much is made of Tiger Woods' training regimen today. Were you one of the first to train for the game the way an athlete would?

Irwin: I think so. I've always done something, played sports or lifted or ran. Gary Player has done it for a long time and probably was the forerunner of guys who have kept in shape. We're seeing that more and more because today's equipment allows you to be bigger, be stronger, swing harder and still hit the ball straight. You couldn't do that in the past; you could be bigger and stronger, but just because you hit it harder, it may go farther off-line. So I don't think there was the big push for guys to get stronger; they were always trying to "find it" first and then hit it long. That was the way we trained ourselves; that's the way it was taught. Now, they take kids 4 or 5 years old and say, "Hit it as far as you can." That's what they're taught their entire life and then they work on form later.


Next: "I'm hitting the ball farther now than I've ever hit it."
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