John Daly and Ernie Els Offer Interesting Advice to Their Younger Selves

Els reflected on crucial moments in his career where he wished he could have a second chance

by Sead Dedovic
John Daly and Ernie Els Offer Interesting Advice to Their Younger Selves
© Phil Inglis/Getty Images Sport Sport

When you've achieved everything you've imagined in your career, and you come to the days when you can reflect on your journey and analyze things, there are certainly some regrets or changes you'd make. The Instagram channel 'Pga Tour Champions' has posted an interesting video asking golfers what advice they would give to their younger selves. According to many, the most intriguing response came from John Daly;

"Nothing, he don’t listen anyway.” - Daly said, as quoted by Golfmonthly!

Seven years ago, when he was about to debut on the Champions Tour, John Daly expressed contentment with his career situation, primarily focusing on the 2000s. He emphasized that he always gave his best and strived to become the best version of himself.

“I’m kind of satisfied with everything in the 2000s. My mind was right, and I did everything I could to try and win golf tournaments,” said Daly.

John Daly at NEC Invitional (2002)
John Daly at NEC Invitational (2002)© Harry How/Getty Images Sport

Daly also confirmed that his mindset could have been different. He believes that in the 90s, especially towards the end, he could have achieved much more. Daly then enjoyed money, perhaps focusing more on finances than success in tournaments. However, with experience and years, his attitude changed, and Daly became more serious. He realized the importance of victories and tournament wins and sought to make a breakthrough regardless of his age. Daly is aware that things could have been different, but overall, his career is commendable, and there isn't much more to add

“I wish I would have had the mental attitude back in the ’90s like I do now. I think I wasted my talent in the ’90s, especially towards the later part of the ’90s. All the money was coming in, and I didn’t work hard enough at it. I didn’t do the right things to prepare myself to win golf tournaments. You know, that’s definitely on me, and I admit that … I think my mental attitude is 10 times better than it was in the ‘90s.”- he continued.

Ernie Els and his career

Ernie Els is a golf figure about whom we don't need to spend many words. The successes in his career speak for themselves.

Ernie Els
Ernie Els© Christian Petersen/Getty Images Sport

Els reflected on crucial moments in his career where he wished he could have a second chance. He stressed the 1995 PGA Championship as a notable missed opportunity. Despite leading by three strokes heading into the final round, he faltered with an off day, particularly recalling critical mistakes on the 16th and 17th holes. These errors cost him a chance at the championship, as he narrowly missed out on a playoff between Steve Elkington and Colin Montgomerie. Reflecting on that day, he believes that a stronger final round could have changed the trajectory of his career.

However, the career of every athlete is marked by such things, and regretting something is superfluous. Els had many successes in his career, but moments like this are common.

He stressed that like many players, there were other tournaments where victory eluded him. He mentioned the 1996 Open Championship, where he made a late charge but ultimately fell short, as well as instances like The Masters in 2004 and The Open Championship in 2004 and 2012, where unexpected circumstances or amazing performances by his opponents prevented him from achieving victory.   Els always emphasized that he gave his all, but sometimes things didn't always go your way.

Ernie Els in 2001
Ernie Els in 2001© Ross Kinnaird/ALLSPORT/ Getty Images Sport

Despite these setbacks, Els expressed gratitude for winning four Majors, admitting that while there were tournaments that slipped away, he still achieved significant success in his career.

Ernie Els was also one of the individuals who received the same question. Considering the successes he has achieved in his career, younger golfers would certainly benefit from hearing some wise words from him. For him, the priority is for a person not to strive for perfection and to know how to deal with bad days and results.

"Don’t be so hard on yourself sometimes on the golf course. We become perfectionists in our own mind. The game is not about perfection. It’s about miss, where you miss it and how you cope with that."- Els said.

Darren Clarke has always been an interesting person, attracting enormous attention. It seems that Clarke enjoyed a lively lifestyle as a young man, often staying up later than necessary.

Darren Clarke
Darren Clarke© Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images Sport

“You know, what advice would I give that young guy? There’d be a lot of sensible things I could say, but that young guy had a lot of fun on the journey. Might have been a little bit... maybe a few less late nights. Might have been a little bit more successful on the golf course, but it’s been a fun trip.” - Clarke said.