Page 18 from Winter 2014 Florida Golf Magazine ©Copyright 2014, All Rights Reserved. Subscribe at
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By Gary Wiren, PhD,
Sr. Director of Instruction for all Trump Golf Properties
& Chairman of Golf Around the World

Dr. Gary Wiren, PGA Master Professional

      The season is getting into full swing. That word swing is one I use multiple times every day in my teaching because it is the most important word in learning to play. When you get with one of our fine PGA of LPGA teachers, have them explain the difference between swinging through something and hitting at something. Its big!

      I am writing this while seated in the locker room at Trump International Golf. It is the morning after a deluge hit South Florida flooding Palm Beach and dumping 23 inches of rain in Boynton Beach. That's right!...23 inches, as much as some countries get in a year. Yet, here I am at the course the next morning, where several groups are playing (walking) and more are waiting until noon when carts will be available. Area courses are flooded and closed. Thanks to Jim Fazio, the architect, Trump has an amazing drainage system.

      Golf is a great game, but can we make a case for it being "The Greatest Game," as proposed in both a book and movie by that title. Lets consider some possibilities.

      Starting with the rule book of golf you'll see that before any mention of a rule is made there is an opening section called ETIQUETTE. That's right etiquette---manners, courtesy, consideration of other players and care for the course. Sports like baseball, football and basketball have rule books, but believe me, none of them start with etiquette.

      Another fact supporting golf as "the greatest" is beauty. Golf can certainly qualify as the Sistine Chapel of sport venues, and Trump International can confirm that statement. Golfers talk for months in advance about playing a course that esthetically is a work-or-art. Then talk for years after they have played. Compare that to tennis. Imagine two tennis players talking about an upcoming trip to Myrtle Beach. "I can't wait to get there," says one, and play on court #18 where the lines are so white and straight." Tennis is a fine sport but can't compare to golf's beauty.

      But the number one reason why I believe golf is "the greatest game" is because of the friends you make during your career of playing. The great Harvey Penick, author of The Little Red Book, the largest selling sports book in history, made it very clear when he said, "If you're a golfer you're my friend." Go alone to play any public course in America or elsewhere and you will be paired up with a stranger who may, by the end of the day, be "your new best friend."

      While in Scotland several years ago I was a single on the first tee of the "Old Course," golfdom's shrine to the game. I was paired with a friendly ruddy faced Aussie named Charles Bennett who was a cattle rancher and the newspaper publisher in the small town of Dungog, New South Wales. Golf was followed by a drink, dinner, and later, several years of Christmas cards with a visit to their cattle station outside their town. This was just another great friend made through golf, though halfway 'round the world.

      For all of us someday, there will be a final round. When that happens and we look back at our golf experiences, what we value the most won't be a trophy, a shot, a score, or some place we played. It will be the people we met and the special friendships that were made by playing golf. That is the best of what the game is all about.

Gary Wiren, PGA Hall of Fame, World Golf Teacher's Hall of Fame

Gary Wiren, PhD
PGA Hall of Fame
World Golf Teacher's Hall of Fame

Page 18 from Winter 2014 Florida Golf Magazine ©Copyright 2014, All Rights Reserved. Subscribe at
To advertise in Florida Golf Magazine in print and on-line, phone 863-227-2751 and/or email