By Vartan Kupelian, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent
DULUTH, GA. - David Frost is the definition of a Renaissance Man.
Frost is a professional golfer by trade. To enhance his golf, he studies biomechanics. Away from the game, he is one of golf’s noted winemakers.
In 1994, Frost, a native of Capetown, South Africa, established a 300-acre vineyard in the heart of wine-producing region of his native country. David Frost Wines currently produce 7,000 cases of merlot, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and cabernet sauvignon.
What is it about golfers, Frost was asked, that produces such wide-spread instincts of curiosity and achievement not always associated with other professional athletes?
“I think maybe it’s because of the people we met along the way,” Frost said Thursday on the eve of the inaugural Greater Gwinnett Championship. “We are exposed to so many different people in the pro-ams, our sponsors, the media. You learn to communicate. You find a way to explore your skills.
“For me, it’s interesting to get to know other people. I’ve enjoyed the associations I’ve had over the years.”
In Frost’s case, he was never groomed to be a champion golfer.
“I had to do a lot of different things, had to keep my mind open,” said Frost, who was a policeman in South Africa while serving his compulsory national service. “Retief (Goosen), Ernie (Els), Nick (Price), we all served two years.”
Frost is off to a flying start this season on the Champions Tour. He has a victory at the Toshiba Classic. He has five top 10 finishes in his five starts. He was runner-up, losing a playoff, to John Cook at the season-opener in Hawaii.
Frost is No. 2 on the Charles Schwab Cup points behind Bernhard Langer, and is looking forward to a return to TPC Sugarloaf, where he played on the PGA TOUR.
Frost credits his study of biomechanics with German golf professional Christian Neumaier for his improved play since last summer. Biomechanics, Frost said, has helped to improve his health, his swing and his flow. The results have been dramatic. He won twice last year, with Michael Allen at the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf and the AT&T Championship.
“One part of it that I didn’t understand, since the last three-quarters of last year, something just clicked,” Frost said. “I just feel like it’s a little more on auto-drive.”
Bio-mechanics is about making the game more instinctive, more fluid. He has implemented that into his golf.
Frost met Christian Neumaier, a German professional and proponent of bio-mechanics, in 2007 when he was playing the BMW in Munich on the European Tour. They work together usually twice a year.
“It was something I was missing,” Frost said. “It's made me a lot more comfortable through the golf ball, something that I've always been hesitant with … I fought the flow of my body and my arms through the ball and turning with the ball. We were always taught to stay behind the ball. It’s just something that’s clicked and I’ve struck the ball very consistently in the last six months.
“No one tells you how to mechanically play baseball. Nobody tells you how to mechanically play hockey. Tiger (Woods) makes the game so difficult. He works so hard to try to hit the ball. He’s always working on something, instead of being natural.
“My game has become really steady. I feel I have a better understanding of the golf swing now, the last three, four years, than I did. It brought something a lot clearer to me, the understanding of what actually happens in a golf swing.”
With his golf flourishing, Frost has put the wind business in the back seat.
“I’m not as aggressive about it as I was seven, eight years ago,” he said. “I have a window to play good golf as long as I can.”
Not that establishing priorities has been a problem for Frost.
“I can do both,” he said. “I leave everything at home when I get to the course, and when I leave the course, I leave everything there.”
While the return to TPC Sugarloaf is being widely applauded by the players, they know the challenge that awaits. The Greg Norman design is long and expansive. The walking distance around the 18 holes, Frost suggests, is 10 miles.
“I prefer walking,” Frost said. “Riding you don’t have time to absorb what you’re trying to do.”
On the note of absorbing golf knowledge, Frost believes there are advantages for recreational golfers in watching the Champions Tour.
“There is a lot more that can be taken by what we do on our Tour and should be but is not,” he said. “Not by what the young guys do out there. They’re young, strong and the club speed is through the roof.”