20 Years of Golf: Players' advice to 20-year-old selves


(Editor’s note: Golf Channel turns 20 years old on Jan. 17. In recognition, we are looking back at golf over the last two decades with a series of articles and photo galleries throughout the week.)

If PGA Tour pros knew then what they know now, what would they do differently? On Golf Channel's 20th anniversary, here's what some would tell their 20-year-old selves:

“For me, everything I’ve been through, I’d say, listen to your body more. When you’re hurt, get away, get healthy. I tried to play through numerous injuries, and it did nothing but cause me problems, further problems. So I would say, pay more attention to how I’m feeling and take a break.” - David Duval

“I’d practice the short game harder. That’s what I’d do if I was gonna do it again. Play golf more instead of getting too bogged down on the range, hitting balls. Those are the two things I’d probably do different if I could do it all over.” - Simon Dyson

“Careful what you say.” - Vijay Singh

“Just to be patient and that you’re not as good as you think you are, and you need to put in a lot of hard work. Thankfully I kind of figured that out after a little while." - Chris Kirk

20 Years of Golf: Articles and photo galleries

“To relax. Be patient with yourself, and not try to search everyday for the answers, just kind of gradually work on a game plan." - Brandt Snedeker

“Enjoy it. Because it goes really fast. If I could go back 20 years, just try your best to enjoy the rise. I think it can get kind of monotonous out here at times. A year leads into another year leads into another year, and as players, I think sometimes we forget what level we’re playing at, and I think really quick it can all be gone. So, make sure you enjoy the climb upwards to get here.” - Briny Baird

“Just be a bit more patient, because I think when we’re 20 years old or just a little after that – getting out of college – we try to make everything happen at once. And I know when I got out on the Tour, my first year was a bummer, man. And if I would have been a lot more patient there, it would have been better. But fortunately I was able to play better after that. I think we’re just all in too big a hurry to make things happen.” - Andy Bean

“Just to have fun. As far as the golf goes, we’re out here, we’ve got the best job there is and we beat ourselves up too much. We worked our whole life to get out here, so I’d say just to have fun and enjoy every day because life is short. Same advice for life. Just enjoy it, every day, every step. Just smile, have a good attitude.” - Charlie Beljan

“My biggest piece of advice would be to just not sweat every little detail. Because it always feels like, when you first come out here, you have to play great every tournament, that you have to play in every tournament. I probably did a little too much worrying in the past 20 years, that I probably would have saved years of my life in the next 20, if I had not done that much worrying. Don’t sweat the small stuff.” - Stewart Cink

“You gotta believe in yourself. That’s all you gotta do, really. Just believe in yourself, and try to be you.” - David Lingmerth

“Get in better shape, hit the ball harder. Definitely get stronger. If I’d have known 20 years ago how important power was going to be, I definitely would have tried to get stronger when I was younger. Growing up with equipment these days, if you grow up with the current equipment, you’re definitely going to hit it harder and compress the ball more. So that would have been something, 20 years ago, I would have looked into.” - Greg Chalmers

“Don’t go snowboarding until you finish your golf career, how’s that? Action sports will always be there. Yeah, it’s difficult, so many things. I would just say, keep things simple. Find out what works and keep repeating it. Certainly for golf, and I think it applies to a lot of stuff, there’s no magic secret, there’s no one size fits all. Find out what works and keep doing it, and make sure you enjoy the journey. Because it goes too quickly." - Paul Casey

“I wouldn’t change anything now. I’m sure I’ve made mistakes, but nothing I haven’t learned from so no, I wouldn’t (give myself any advice). They were all good mistakes. I know I didn’t get everything right, but I certainly wouldn’t change any of my past, so I wouldn’t give myself any advice.” - Padraig Harrington

“Go early to bed. Start maybe working out a little sooner. Stay patient. Stop smoking.” - Nicolas Colsaerts