The First Tee's Nine Healthy Habits

June 20, 2011
Mark Williams, Champions Tour staff

Recently, several Champions Tour players commented on one of each of the First Tee's Nine Healthy Habits, explaining how they may have helped them in their career and how it might assist The First Tee kids going forward.

.or more about the Nine Healthy Habits, visit [here].


Energy "It's about what you put in your body and how it helps you, not just in golf or any other sport, but in your daily life. If you can understand what you are putting in your body and how it's going to affect it you can live a longer, fuller and healthier live. Working out and maintaining physical fitness is certainly something I would recommend. As you get older it's doubly important to have some sort of workout routine." -- Jeff Sluman, 1988 PGA Championship winner and two-time Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach winner

Play "I think it's important to remember that your body can't be one dimensional and playing other sports, or doing other activities, keeps you balanced. 'Playing' can mean going out with one club, or two clubs, or it could mean going out and playing your golf course in reverse so you don't get stuck in a boring routine. Sitting down in front of the television is not the thing to do. If my friends start talking about golf I leave because I want to get my mind of off it. When I leave the locker room I leave it there." -- Hale Irwin, World Golf Hall of Fame member, three-time U.S. Open winner, and 45-time Champions Tour winner

Safety "When I was a junior and my Mom used to take me up to the golf club she knew that I was safe. I was a rules official on the European Tour for a while and that's when I discovered how much goes into making a tournament environment safe for players and spectators. I think knowing the rules, behaving properly on the golf course, displaying the right etiquette and just being friendly on the golf course makes for a safe environment. The first time I went to play in Australia I thought 'wow', they are so aware of the damage the sun can do and they had this 'Slip, Slop, Slap' campaign that was everywhere. I still remember that. You learn something wherever you go." -- Roger Chapman, European Tour winner


Vision "In golf, you're visualizing good shots, so why not visualize success in your life? I remember watching Jeff Sluman holding up the trophy after winning The First Tee Open at Pebble Beach. It was really weird because I visualized myself holding that trophy up and the very next year I was holding it up. It's like thinking positively -- visualize the good, and good is more apt to happen. It doesn't just happen; you have to put it into action." -- Ted Schulz, PGA TOUR winner and Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach defending champion

Mind "You don't really win that much in professional golf. I fail a lot more than I ever win and it's self talk that helps you realize if you set your mind in the right direction, the self talk helps. And it certainly helped me at Pebble Beach the five times that I won there, knowing that I had won there, I kept using that as a motivating factor in telling myself, hey, I've done this before and I've won before and I can do it again. That doesn't give you the right to think that you're going to win. But I think it helps move you in the right direction." -- Mark O'Meara, winner of the 1998 Masters and 1998 British Open

Family "My family members are my biggest cheerleaders and at times they also motivated me. We had wonderful times sitting around the dinner table and listen to each other's stories, share our lives, and that built the support system that I think is very helpful in this game that has a lot of ups and downs. I would encourage youngsters to get more involved with their families, put the cellphones away, stop texting and look at each other and communicate one-on-one. Those are special moments and they pass way too quickly." -- Dan Forsman, five-time PGA TOUR winner and two-time Champions Tour winner


Friends "Friends are very important, especially to young people. I think kids are smarter than we give them credit for. Friends are very important for support to build you up. If they're bringing you down, you might want to rethink that friendship. I think that when you see people who are having a hard time you want to encourage them and try and be there for them. Even not saying anything can be very helpful." -- Gary Hallberg, three-time PGA TOUR winner and Champions Tour winner

School "Without question, college prepared me for life after college and on TOUR. Certainly playing competitive golf was a learning tool but also the classroom part of it and learning to budget time, learning to be prepared when you go into a classroom, that has certainly helped me in my career. You've got to be prepared to be successful and that preparation and budgeting of time, setting priorities, that's such a huge key in any walk of life and certainly in golf." -- Jay Haas, winner of 14 Champions Tour events and two-time Charles Schwab Cup champion

Community "I grew up in an environment that promoted junior golf. They held events almost daily in the summertime to keep kids active and keep them out playing and enjoying the game. I'm trying to do that with my involvement with The First Tee programs. I was pretty blown away coming onto the Champions Tour and seeing the community involvement each and every week. We are fortunate to be doing what we are doing but it gives us more pleasure to see the community reap the benefits of what we do. We feel the connection with the fans and the volunteers and we see the same faces each time we return to a tournament. These people know who we are, they've watched us play for many years and they feel a connection to us." -- John Cook, six-time Champions Tour winner and 11-time PGA TOUR winner