Sam Saunders is aware of his method round a golf course. Because the grandson of golf legend Arnold Palmer, Saunders has discovered a lot through the years in regards to the ins and outs of the game. And whereas he’s received some deep roots in golf royalty, Saunders is beginning to make a reputation of his personal within the PGA Tour.
Saunders had 4 Prime 10 finishes in 2018, essentially the most of his profession, and his sturdy play has put him into the sector for The PLAYERS Championship for the primary time. Forward of the match, Males’s Journal caught up with Saunders to discuss his coaching, why he loves browsing, and the perfect recommendation he received from his grandfather Arnold Palmer.
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Males’s Journal: What’s it prefer to be a part of the PLAYERS Championship discipline for the primary time?
It’s actually cool to play on the PGA Tour, however in a method it’s type of loopy that I haven’t performed in The Gamers but. Residing 20 minutes down the street and rising up in Orlando, TPC Sawgrass and the Gamers have been all the time actually cool to me. I feel everybody goes to be blown away by the looks of the golf course this 12 months on TV. It’s been in Could in recent times, so the course was a bit browner and had a firmer, quicker play to it. However being again in March now, it’s going to be very inexperienced and the bunkers will probably be superbly white. You’ll have that distinction—and the course goes to play more durable. It’s going to be actually nice right here.
Did you do something in another way in your coaching that helped gas your breakout 12 months?
I type of received again to enjoying a bit extra aggressively. I all the time grew up hitting the ball fairly far. I’ve a superb means to hit the ball excessive and spin the ball, which will be a bonus on the PGA Tour. And I feel my first three years on the PGA Tour I simply was making an attempt to slot in and never screw up in a method. As a substitute, final 12 months, I went in with somewhat bit extra of an aggressive mindset: ‘I’m going to play to win, I’m going to play aggressively, I’m going to hit the ball far.’ I began enjoying with somewhat bit extra confidence and I really performed extra solidly. I didn’t go and win, however I had higher finishes and I had extra Prime 10s. I simply performed extra constant, good golf.
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The Jacksonville space has nice out of doors actions. What are a few of your favourite issues to do across the PLAYERS Championship?
My spouse and two children and I, we’re simply outdoors individuals. We lived in Colorado for six years, so we hiked, we skied, and I’d snowboard. I don’t actually prefer to go to the health club. I prefer to get my health by being outdoors. We moved to Florida, and one of the simplest ways to make the most of the outside is the water. So whether or not it’s browsing, boating, swimming, or fishing—something outdoors is nice for us. My spouse and I like to go paddleboarding, and we’ve received a kayak as properly. Rising up in Orlando, wakeboarding and water-skiing have been massive components of my life. I’ve additionally received the browsing bug massive time. I now perceive what everybody means with how a lot they love browsing. It’s been a problem to this point, however I’ve beloved engaged on it and I benefit from the strategy of making an attempt to get higher. It’s the most effective types of train I can do.
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Are there any locations you’d prefer to surf at some point?
I’m going to Waikiki in Hawaii yearly for the Sony Open, however that’s probably not the place the waves are. I’d like to get to the North Shore, however I’m not there but with my means. I might like to get to the purpose the place I really feel like I’m ok to deal with it.
Is there a visit or journey that made a big effect in your life?
My household went right down to Key West a short while again. We have now a 5 12 months outdated, so it was simpler to do this than return to Colorado for some snowboarding [laughs]. It was a fast flight down and thankfully, by means of a superb good friend, I used to be capable of say in Jimmy Buffett’s home. It’s the outdated unique home the place he wrote all his music. It’s nothing fancy, nevertheless it’s proper there on somewhat canal, and we simply had the perfect time. He’s received Margaritaville indicators everywhere in the kitchen; we drank margaritas; we swam within the again canals; we fished; we did some paddleboarding, kayaking, and snorkeling. It was an superior journey.
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What’s the perfect recommendation you’ve obtained throughout your profession?
For me, the recommendation that’s actually helped me was from my grandfather Arnold Palmer. He taught me how necessary it’s to discover a system and a course of that works greatest for you, regardless of who you might be or what you do. For those who’re a lawyer, a health care provider, a golfer, anybody—discover what works greatest for you personally and develop that system that will help you carry out your greatest. When you have got a system, whether or not it’s what time you get up, what sort of workouts you do, what you eat, the way you put together to do your job, and, in my case, how I put together to play in golf tournaments, if it’s tailored to you, it places you in your greatest place to succeed. It may be completely different for everybody, however the total thought is maintaining a course of that works for you and keep on with it. Typically issues simply merely give you the results you want over the way it works for another person.
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What was your relationship like together with your grandfather Arnold Palmer?
Enjoying golf for a residing gave us loads in frequent, and we received to spend time collectively and speak in regards to the sport; he understood my world and I understood his. One of many issues I took away from him in any case this time is to “speak much less and hear extra.” He taught me you possibly can study extra by listening. I actually do worth and cherish the time I received to spend with him over the last 10 years of his life. Round that point, we actually received nearer and I thought-about him a good friend and somebody I had immense respect for. I’ve discovered classes from him I’ll always remember.
For those who may face off with any golfer in historical past, whom would it not be and what course would you need to play on?
I gained’t say Arnold Palmer since I received to play with him at Bay Hill… or Jack Nicklaus, who I performed with at Augusta [laughs]. Being a 31-year-old man and rising up watching the sport, Tiger Woods is the one for me. When he comes out on the course, it’s so cool to see him, even now. I’ll always remember him popping out on the course whereas we have been at Bay Hill. He got here as much as me and shook my hand and mentioned thanks for having us. That was surreal to me and one of many coolest moments of my life. He’s a residing legend, so that will be superior. Similar for Phil Mickelson—I grew up watching each of these guys. It actually doesn’t matter what course. It might be a spherical of golf the place I’d hold my mouth shut and attempt to study as a lot as I can.
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