Tag Archives: Masters

Episode 70: Don’t Let Your Ego Get in the Way | Virgil Herring Author of The Golf Journal

Don’t let your ego get in the way.  Virgil Herring is one of the top teaching professionals in golf and when one of his best players, Brandt Snedeker became the PGA Tour’s Rookie of the Year, Virgil expected recognition.  Brandt recognized another golf coach for his success and Virgil’s ego got in the way.  Learn from Virgil in Episode 70 of the Defining Success Podcast.

Virgil Herring Don't Let Your Ego Get in the Way

Virgil Herring

Best-selling author Virgil Herring is Director of Instruction at the acclaimed Westhaven Golf Club and is founder of Higher Performance Golf Academy. Virgil received the 2003 Tennessee Section PGA Teacher of the Year Award and was named 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2006 Middle TN Chapter PGA Teacher of the Year. He was named a 2009 U.S. Kids Golf Top 50 Instructor (source) by U.S. Kids Golf. And he also worked with PGA Tour player Brandt Snedeker.

Virgil got involved in golf after he injured his shoulder as a baseball pitcher at 16 years old.  He then turned to golf.  Virgil took up the sport by playing with his best friend at a young age. He knew that he wanted to be involved in sports in his entire life.

He went to college to learn how to become a part of golf management.  Today, he plays as much as he possibly can, but he became an instructor at an early age.  His first 1,000 hours of golf instruction were working with over-achieving collegiate golfers.  Everyone who worked with him told him that he had a knack for teaching.

Virgil likes to help others.  When he’s competing he’s too concerned about other people’s games.  He says he’s coached about 22,000 golf lessons, and coached 1,500 to 1,600 people.

The most compelling story Virgil has working with students was a young female golfer who Virgil took from a golfer who was quitting and three months later, she became a professional golfer.  And now, Megan Grehan is now a professional golfer.

Brandt Snedeker was another student of Virgil Herring’s who went on to do great things in golf.  Virgil was Brandt’s golf instructor for eight years where he went from an unranked junior, to the #1 player in college golf, to the #1 amateur in the world, to a two-time Nationwide Tour Winner, to the PGA Rookie of the Year.  He won the US Public Links and made the cut in the Masters as an amateur.

Brandt was never the best hitter of the golf ball, but he always ended up winning.  Virgil remembers the first time playing with him and one thing that Brandt had was confidence.  He knew how to hit the shot when he needed to hit it. Virgil has taught more than 20 people who hit the golf ball better than Brandt, but he’s been the best putter 3 out of the last 5 years.

When Virgil began teaching golf, he was a big believer in getting people to perform their best.  He saw the little differences between the average golfers and the exceptional golfers.  Virgil knew he wanted to be a competitive golf coach and his brand was helping golfers achieve their personal greatness.

When Brandt won his PGA Tour Event in 2007, he went on national TV and thanked another teacher.  Virgil reacted in disbelief and shock.  And they didn’t handle the situation very well and Virgil wish it hadn’t had bothered him as much as it did. They’re both members of the same club, but their relationship is nothing like what it used to be.

Virgil wrote The Golf Journal and Virgil believes this is the year for statistical data to help people track their statistics to help people understand what they need to do to get better.  His book helps people understand their golfing trends and how they can make those trends better. Golf teaches honesty, and integrity.

Virgil likes the creativity of golf.  There are a lot of different golf swings out there.  Golf is a long contest that trains focus, concentration and how to re-focus.

Another story Virgil re-tells is the time when Brandt asked Davis Love III about how he could stay on the tour and Davis told him that if he thought he should be out on the PGA Tour than he shouldn’t worry about it.  The guys who can miss a cut are ok, but those who treat it as life and death are in trouble.

The Golf Journal by Virgil Herring

The Golf Journal

Engaging Discussion Questions:

  • Name a time when your ego got in the way?
  • Have you ever worked with someone who was a world-class athlete or business person?  What traits did they possess that others did not?

Success Quotes:

  • “Success is choosing what you’re life’s mission is and chasing after it with all of your zest.”
  • “Golf mirrors life … how you handle adversity on the golf course shows how you handle adversity in live.
  • “There’s no such think as perfect.”
  • “When your ego gets in the way, sometimes bad things happen.”
  • “I get the chance to do exactly what I wanted to do since I was 21 years old and I get to do it every day.”
  • “Brandt Snedeker has a killer instinct that most people don’t have.”

Links to Great Stuff:

  • Virgil Herring – Virgil worked with PGA Tour player Brandt Snedeker from 2000-2007 and Tour players Harry Taylor, Brad Fabel, Cliff Kresge, Vance Veazey, Garrett Willis, Bob Wolcott & Kim Williams. He works with 52 Division-1 College Players and 22 top TN Junior Players. In Nashville, hear Virgil 7-8 a.m. Saturday on 104.5 The Zone.
Virgil Herring on not letting your ego get in the way

Virgil Herring


Episode 49: Just Show Up! | Photographer Chris Carlson from the Associated Press

Chris Carlson has done photography in more than 40 different countries covering some of the world’s greatest sporting and political events.  He’s been involved in the business a long time but attributes his consistency and reliability to be one of the keys to his success.  Learn how to just show up in Episode 49 of the Defining Success Podcast.

Associated Press Photographer on the Defining Success Podcast with Zeb Welborn

Chris Carlson

Chris Carlson has been a staff photographer at the AP in Southern California for the past 6 years, Prior to that, he has been on the staff of the Orange County Register where he shared a Pulitzer Prize for coverage. During his career, he has been on assignment in over 40 countries.

Chris’s family was in the newspaper business.  Early on he realized his spelling was so bad that the only way he could stay in the newspaper business was by becoming a photographer.  Like any field you get into, you have to hone your craft. Chris was very lucky to work with people who were very skilled.  Many people took Chris under his wing and helped develop him into a world class photographer.

When Chris started in photography, there was a huge delay between the time he took a picture and the time he had it developed.  In some cases it was several hours.  Now, photographers know very quickly whether or not they have shot something great or not and they have the ability to take more if they are not happy with what they’ve shot.  Twenty years ago photographers were not as lucky because if they took bad shots, they would not be able to recognize this until hours later and in some cases this meant the opportunity was gone for good.

In photojournalism, they have deadlines and now the deadlines have sped up excessively.

One thing that Chris thinks many people in photography may not realize is the way that professional photographers are able to effectively use lighting to create a better picture.  The average person would be able to look at a picture and say it’s beautiful, but the professional photographer would be able to understand why the picture looks beautiful. A good photographer can take any situation and make it look like it was shot with photo studio lighting.

Some people get into journalism because they want to get into the world. Chris got into journalism because he wanted to see the world.  Being a photographer has given Chris the opportunity to see how the world has unfolded before him.

One of the best assignments Chris ever had was the 2007 U.S. Open where Tiger Woods won in a 19 hole playoff and watching him make a put on the 18th hole to force a playoff was probably the most exciting thing he had ever seen.  Watching the crowd react and watching Tiger’s reaction and seeing how competitive that day was was amazing.  And he felt very fortunate that photography was the vehicle that gave him the opportunity to witness the experience in person.

A lot of pressure comes from being a photographer.  Chris works hard to capture special moments, but sometimes many factors can contribute to the missing of a moment which can be lost and gone forever if he doesn’t capture it as it’s happening.  The stress of capturing these events can be a burden.  Over time the stress of having to capture that one moment can weigh on you a bit.

Chris attributes his success to luck, good decisions, hard work and sometimes, no matter how hard you try, something happens that you couldn’t plan for and in his case he feels very lucky.  Somebody once told Chris that a key to success is just showing up.  If you show up and do work you’re already ahead of your competition.  He looks at his colleagues that are very successful, he sees that it’s because they have a very strong work ethic.

One of the biggest mistake Chris has made was that he didn’t know if he enjoyed it enough in his time.  He wonders if when he retires if he’s going to say that he enjoyed it enough while he was doing it.

Working at the Associated Press, Chris feels fortunate that they cover big stories and the one event Chris wants to go to that he hasn’t yet is the Masters Golf Tournament.  Every year Chris covers the Kraft-Nabisco women’s golf tournament events which conflicts with the Masters, but he hopes he can make it to the Masters.

Chris has done countless brush fires, earthquakes, civil unrest. He was on the presidential campaign with President Obama and he’s done the Iowa Caucus and recommends that if anyone has an interest in politics that they should visit Iowa during that time because they are all very knowledgeable about politics.

If you’re interested in becoming a photographer you need to decide what kind of photography you’d like to do and then position yourself to be able to do that.  Sometimes it means starting at the high school level and hone your skills to build up to the big time.  Photography is incredibly competitive and in order to be successful you must love photography and if you have a good work-ethic, you’ll have a chance to be a good photographer.

When they started introducing digital cameras, your competition grew and the ability to make a living in photography is a lot tougher than it used to be.

Associated Press Photographer Chris Carlson Brandon Marshall from the Chicago Bears and Denver Broncos on the Defining Success Podcast with Zeb Welborn

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

Engaging Discussion Questions:

  • What does it take to make a great picture?
  • How important do you think being reliable is to business?
  • Would people say you just show up?

Links to Great Stuff:

AP Images – “AP Images gives you access to the world’s largest collections of historical and contemporary photographs, so you have all the imagery you need, right when you need it. AP’s timely, powerful and informative images cover topics ranging from breaking news and sports to business, entertainment, weather, fashion, travel, royalty-free, rights-managed, microstock and more. You can purchase the images you need immediately on our site or set up a subscription service with your sales representative. And with our new API delivery method, you get images in a more flexible, fast and reliable way, within your own interface. AP’s Assignment & Publicity Services is also ready to assist you with start-to-finish planning, execution and distribution for all your promotional needs.”

The International Center of Photography – “The International Center of Photography (ICP) is the world’s leading institution dedicated to the practice and understanding of photography and the reproduced image in all its forms. Through our exhibitions, educational programs, and community outreach, we offer an open forum for dialogue about the role images play in our culture. Since our founding, we have presented more than 500 exhibitions and offered thousands of classes, providing instruction at every level. ICP is a center where photographers and artists, students and scholars can create and interpret the world of the image within our comprehensive educational facilities and archive.”

MSNBC – Pictures of the Week – “NBC News Digital is a collection of innovative and powerful news brands that deliver compelling, diverse and visually engaging stories on your platform of choice. NBC News Digital features world-class brands including NBCNews.com, tv.msnbc.com, TODAY.com, theGrio.com, NBCLatino.com, NBCPolitics.com, Nightly News, Meet the Press, Rock Center, Dateline, Newsvine, Breaking News, and the existing apps and digital extensions of these respective properties. We provide something for every news consumer with our comprehensive offerings that deliver the best in breaking news, segments from your favorite NBC News shows, live video coverage, original journalism, lifestyle features, commentary and local updates.  NBC News Digital reaches an audience of more than 58 million unique visitors who generate more than 1.2 billion page views and 140 million online video streams each month.”

New York Times – Lens Blog – “Photography, Visual and Video Journalism.”

Success Quotes:

  • “Success is balancing my career, my family life, my social life and my future.”
  • “I got into journalism because I wanted to see the world.”
  • “The one thing that separates amateur photographers from professional photographers is the way they handle light.”
  • “Photography is about capturing the moment.”

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Chris Carlson at the Breeder's Cup Just Show Up

by Robert Hanashiro