Wisdom from Matty

Matt was my partner in crime when I worked the Proshop scene. We were tight and always had each other’s back. Big Matty was a great bloke and unfortunately the golf thing didn’t quite work out for him.

Sad, because he loved golf, had a real passion for it. He started a newsletter for the members and could write in an informative and funny way (not easy to do). He did a review of Dave Pelz’s Putting Bible book that was hilarious and gave me the giggles for the afternoon. The newsletter didn’t last long because our boss thought it was taking up too much time. The boss was a dickhead like that.

Matty got in trouble because he was late a few times. He didn’t drive and sometimes he’d miss his connecting bus (it took two buses for him to get to work) and that meant a 15-minute delay. He started getting to work an hour early (he’d catch the 5.00am bus) to ensure he was on time. He slept in one time (probably after a few beers with me) and was late. The boss gave him a second “official” warning.

The big guy was a great player. He should have won the Australian Amateur one year. He was one-up playing the 17th hole and his opponent was in the trees. Matty 3-putted the green after watching the other guy sink a long putt for par. He then caught a “flier” up the last and lost the match. Unlucky. But Matt was always good about it, “I choked my arse off!”, he’d say with a huge smile.

I loved golfing with him. He didn’t hit the ball particularly long but had a magic short game. He could beat the pants off me around the greens and taught me a few shots. One, was the high parachute lob – Matty would flick his wrists through impact and launch the ball a mile into the air. It was a risky shot, but he was brilliant at it. He also did the same thing from the bunkers and could get up and down from anywhere. Just awesome. He grew up at a magical little course in Melbourne that has really small greens and bunkers that eat into the edge – he told me he’d spend hours chipping, pitching and splashing bunker shots. It certainly showed.

He lost his job after he was caught trying to silence the bosses wife’s mobile phone. The over conservative club didn’t tolerate mobile phones, they hated them but when the boss walked in and saw Matt going through the handbag he thought the worst. Matty got the flick. It was another disgraceful act from the Boss who just couldn’t connect with people. He didn’t get it. Matt lost his way after this – he left golf and traveled overseas.

Last time I saw him he was back in Melbourne. He was disheveled and lost. There was no spark and golf was the furthest thing from his mind. It was sad and I wish things had turned out differently for him. Matty would have been a brilliant club pro…

This morning I received an email from someone who reminded me of Big Matty,

I’ve been struggling for years with a crappy golf swing but have recently started to change things with my thoughts that 99% of golf pro’s haven’t a clue what the average amateur problems are.

Matty thought a lot about golf and would challenge the norm. He often said that the problem with learning to be a golf pro is they teach you WHAT to teach but they don’t teach you HOW to do it. I couldn’t agree more.

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