Former Irish National Coach Howard Bennett worked for the GUI from 1989 to 2004, putting the likes of major champions, Darren Clarke, Paul McGinley, Padraig Harrington, Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy through their paces and on the right path to major success.
I seriously doubt if there has ever been another coach in the history of the game who has been so influential on such a string of successful fledglings.
“Never forget the obvious!” he used to trumpet. “The most successful sports persons, not only golfers, are dependent on attitude, desire, goals, memory, motivation, patience, persistence, preparation, practice, self-discipline.
“Place them in any order of importance you like but you dare not leave a single one out of the equation of achieving success. There must be willingness to do today that what others will not, so I can do tomorrow what others cannot.”
This sums up the Howard Bennett philosophy just perfectly and his book, with all its proceeds to be donated to a Cancer Research Charity, should be in the library of every young ambitious golfer.
It’s simple stuff but it is bang on the money - Stories, Observations, Suggestions by Howard Bennett is a small book – similar in style and wisdom to Harvey Penick’s staggeringly successful Little Red Book. It is available directly from the author’s website: www.howardbennett.co.uk/
In the foreword, Padraig Harrington writes: “Howard treated everyone as individuals – he taught the player not a style or system. He encouraged a strong mental game, good work ethic, determination and discipline. He was knowledgeable, open-minded and totally committed to his pupils, while displaying a calm gentleness and good humour that marked him out as a truly exceptional mentor and teacher. He is an impossible act to follow and it is no wonder he oversaw the most successful period in the entire history of Irish golf.”
Ivan Morris writes a regular column on golf for the Limerick Leader