July 6, 2012

[Ed. note: A week ago, on a broiling hot afternoon that saw the temperature hit a whopping 112, CBS golf commentator Gary McCord and The Great White Shank got together on the Superstition Springs G.C. outdoor patio overlooking the ninth green for a cold brewskie and a little golf talk following TGWS’s driving range session.]

mccord Shank, last year right around this time you and I sat at this same table and talked about the state of your game and your preparations for the 2011 Goodboys Invitational. You had a sizzling 94 at Sagamore Spring to kick off the weekend but struggled mightily on Saturday and Sunday. Today, I was watching you hit the ball pretty well out there in that blazing heat. What’s the difference in your game and game prep, both mentally and physically as another Goodboys Invitational weekend approaches?

tgws Gary, all I can says is, I’m feeling great about my game. I’m not saying that I’m going to go out there and set records, but for the first time in my golf existence I’ve reached a point of consistency and predictability so that when I’m going good I know why I’m going good, and when I’m going bad I know why I’m going bad. So there’s a level of comfort out there, and I’m feeling great about it.

mccord Sounds pretty exciting. Tell us about the progression from last year to this year.

tgws Well, Gary, as you know, I left Goodboys Invitational weekend feeling disappointed about my play. Still, I felt that I was continuing to make progress and that I was getting close. After that, I had a couple of good rounds here in Arizona during the fall where I played on both sides of 100, then came that February shootout in Las Vegas against The Funny Guy [Ed. note: Goodboy Ben “The Funny Guy” Andrusaitis] where I really played well. A couple of months ago back in New England, I played OK at Portsmouth Country Club, then saw my game fall apart again at Breakfast Hill a few days later.

mccord And in two weeks you’re going to be playing Breakfast Hill in the opening round of the 2012 Goodboys Invitational. Not a good place to see your game fall apart. Sounds like some pretty inconsistent play to me…

tgws It was, and after I got back to Arizona I had a really poor driving range session, upon which I completely revamped my set-up at address, shifting my weight to the balls of my feet and flattening out my takeaway so I wasn’t quite as upright. I then played Las Vegas National in May – in sustained 40 MPH winds, no less – and never drove the ball better. Unfortunately, my short game completely fell apart, so I decided to totally revamp that as well. So what I’m playing with now is a completely different set-up at address, swing plane, and short game from last year’s Goodboys, and I’m feeling pretty confident at this point that these changes are worth it.

mccord Shank, you’re one of only two Goodboys in the 22 years the Goodboys Invitational has been held to have never missed a Goodboy weekend [Ed. note: “The Funny Guy” being the only other]. You’re also one of three five-time winners of the event; what are your thoughts going into this year’s Invitational?

tgwsYou know, Gary, it’s both good and a little melancholy at the same time. I miss some of the lads that were part of Goodboys for so many years – “Bone” Piekarski, “Doc” Frechette, “Kernel” Clickner, “El Dandito” Drewett, just to name a few – but I like the group we have and the mix of old and new. I’m excited about playing with Mark “Skipper” Bornemann this year, and Scott “Hulkigan” Tripp will really find his weekend playing with Ron “Cubby” Myerow, um, interesting. Over the years we’ve all had our ups and downs and good days and bad days, but over 22 years who wouldn’t? This year, I think we’re all in a good place mentally and physically, and just ready to have a fun weekend.

mccord What would being the first six-time winner of the Goodboys Invitational mean to you? How would it impact your Goodboys legacy?

tgws You know, Gary, this game is all about honor, tradition, and integrity. I’m just hoping to go out there and play well enough to not be on the losing end of a humiliation bet for the first time, and make my partner proud of me. This year I just want to enjoy playing a few rounds of golf and watch some British Open coverage over a couple-two-three Sam Summers with my friends. There’s too much bad shit goin’ on out there in the real world to take things too seriously. I’ve worked damned hard on my game this year, am feeling great about it, and just hope it translates into some good competitive scores during the weekend.

mccord Any game plan in mind as these final two weeks tick down? What are you focusing on mentally?

tgws Gary, I’m going into the weekend with only these thoughts in mind: 1) keep it in the short grass, 2) stay away from trouble, 3) keep the ball below the hole, 4) don’t short-side myself, and 5) have a good time. If I can do that, no matter where I finish it will be a successful Goodboys weekend.

mccord Well, best of luck this year, Great White Shank – we’ll be pulling for you and your partner “The Skipper” to make some serious noise – and some birdies – out there.

tgws Pars and bogies will be good enough for me. Thanks, Gary, be well, buddy!

Filed in: Goodboys by The Great White Shank at 00:18 | Comment (1)
1 Comment
  1. TGWS:

    Nice interview! We have’nt even started our
    outing and it looks like i’m already losing a bet to Killa over the Red Sox.


    Comment by Ron "Cubby" Myerow — July 6, 2012 @ 5:19 pm

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