By Zig Ziglar
(Part One of a Two-Part Series)
He wore tennis shoes, $2 pants, no glove, and carried a $20 golf bag and a $70 set of clubs. He was pot-bellied, had long sideburns, played with a wide stance and a strong right grip. He held his hands high and away, used about a three-quarter swing and had an open stance. (That’s not the way the P.G.A. golf pros teach the game.)
I’ve just described one of the most surprising additions to the Seniors Golf Tour. Robert Landers, at age 50, was the most improbable candidate to ever make the touring pros’ prestigious Seniors Tournament schedule. A movie script writer could never have sold this one to Hollywood. Robert started playing at age 22 and entered his first tournament at 28. Between 1983 and 1991 back problems prevented him from playing or practicing the game he loved. Since then he’s only played an average of once a week. He is completely self-taught. He has never read a golf book or taken a lesson.
This golfer has had more than his share of ups and downs in life. The store where he worked earning $18,000 a year went out of business and he lost his job. He helped make ends meet by cutting and selling firewood and in the process strengthened his hands. He has a small farm and has been practicing by hitting golf balls over his barn and over his cows. He cashed in $4,000 of a $10,000 IRA in order to finance his trip to Florida to qualify for the tour. Amazingly enough, he made it. Robert was followed by fans who dubbed themselves the “moo crew.” Appropriately enough, Landers was sponsored by the work clothes manufacturer Dickies.
Message: Robert Landers had a dream — a most improbable one. He made the commitment to “go for it” and took advantage of every opportunity to practice and prepare for the challenge. He avoided the P.L.O.M. (“Poor Little Ol’ Me”) Disease and capitalized on his natural ability and winning attitude.