Q. You've been an aggressive player your whole career. Can you relate to what Phil Mickelson is going through, wondering whether he's too aggressive at certain times?
GREG NORMAN: I hope he never changes. I think that's just being under the microscope, people like to see that. They make a lot of -- they make a point of making it a point. Phil Mickelson's nature is Phil Mickelson's nature. You can't change that.
I probably would have won more tournaments if I wasn't that way, but you know what, I would not be the same guy as I am right now. I enjoy being the person I am because of who I am. And Phil is the same way. The risk/reward is there and when it happens he's great and when it doesn't happen, he looks terrible. Arnold Palmer. You could go to Arnold, how many majors Arnold won, eight or nine, something like that, he probably could have won 20 if he wasn't so aggressive, but Arnold was Arnold. And the way Arnold changed the game of golf was he was that way. If Arnold was conservative and played with such a methodical, middle of the green, we probably would not be where we are right now if Arnold had that approach.
So I hope Phil doesn't change. He's going to win his share of tournaments and he's going to lose his share of tournaments, and that's it.
Q. Given that point, do you think that you might be able to say quite the same thing if you had not won majors, if you had not converted your ability and talent into major successes, how relevant is that lack in Phil Mickelson's case, in terms of how, or if he does become a little more conservative possibly?
GREG NORMAN: I follow what you're saying. In the major championships, I haven't seen him 5-putting in major championships. I've seen him five putting at the TPC. Maybe his philosophy is a little bit different when he approaches a major championship, I don't know. But I would doubt that it does.
Yeah, it's always a lot easier if you've done it. I can say, "Well, I've done it, so it worked." At the same time, even though you've done it, I could have said there's a few situations in my case where if I was a little bit more conservative, I probably would have had a very good chance of winning more championships than what I did.
Q. Including this one.
GREG NORMAN: Including this one. Exactly right.
Q. One of the things, the idea of a Masters golf ball, where do you stand on that, having a standardized ball?
GREG NORMAN: I think that's a great idea. And I made comment about that to Mr. Johnson in a conversation we had just recently. I think if anybody can do it, the Masters can do it.
You invite, how many people are playing this week, 93? 89? You invite 89 guys, you give them a set of hickory-shafted golf clubs and a gutta ball and say, "Here you go, anybody want to play the Masters", I guarantee you 89 guys will stand up and play at Augusta.
I think it would be a great benchmark test, because my belief, until the game is -- you do not want to disrupt the masses. We don't want to disrupt 25 million American golfers who play the game of golf, which are in this country. And so you need them to be able to enjoy the fruits of technology, getting their handicap down. They would be nothing better than a 15-handicapper -- he thinks it's wonderful. Now I think it's a case in point that should be studied and analyzed where professional golfers -- take the baseball bat from college baseball to professional baseball, there are changes, there are things that affect equipment when you go from an amateur to a professional.
So there is a good point. So if you went to every manufacturer, and I represent Titleist, and Titleist was given the specifications of the ball that was required to be played at Augusta National just for the Masters tournament, you say, okay, you play it and every manufacturer makes that ball. If I was a manufacturer, I think I would love it because I would sell more golf balls. Because Joe Blow would love to buy a golf ball that Tiger Woods played with the specifications. So he's going to buy the one that didn't go longer and then the Augusta golf ball. I think there's a lot of merit to it, and I would support it.
And then what would happen, and my true belief; that a lot of these other administrations who are probably a little bit afraid to get into the fray of all this might jump on the bandwagon and say, yes, finally somebody has done it and yes let's go ahead and do it and go.
So, something's got to be done. Just look at technology for the last six years, the ball is going ten percent further. 300 yards now is 330. Now, physics are going to come into effect soon, the ball can only go so far, but there's probably about another six to ten percent left. 330 plus ten percent, you're talking 360. How do you change Augusta National in six, seven years time for a guy that hits the ball 360 yards?
You sit there and look at both sides of it, but you cannot disrupt what the game of golf is about, and that's for the masses. You cannot disrupt that. You've got to be able to allow the people out there who support us all, everybody who plays the game that is in the game, you can't disrupt them, so there's got to be a delicate balance with it. And the way you can look at it is for the professionals, give us a set of rules that are a little bit more stringent and a little bit more imaginable. I mean, look at the Callaway driver. R&A says it's okay, USGA says no. There's a lot of imbalance there, which is sad, really because we don't need it. I'd like to see it standardized for the professionals right across the board.
Q. Phil Mickelson was in here earlier and he said one of the problems that he has with it is things like spin rates and launch angles are specific to him; he plays a ball that helps him with his spin rate, with his launch angle, a standardized ball maybe is not going to help him. Maybe it will spin too much, maybe it's not going to carry as much and he next guy will maybe have a similar, maybe like it more and another guy dislike it. How do you manage that?
GREG NORMAN: It's very easy. A player can get a golf ball made like he gets his suit made. Get them custom fit. When it's a standardized golf ball -- you're talking about the specifics of a golf ball, spin rate. You can go to a launch monitor and you can find your right spin rate and you can still marry everything up to the way you swing the golf club. Phil Mickelson will still be that much longer than everybody else, and Tiger Woods will be that much longer than everybody else. It's just bringing back the distance. The ratio to the long hitters to the short hitter will still be there, so there's no real disparity. It's just the protection of the golf courses because, you know, here's a perfect example. Where would Augusta National find another 300 yards to add onto it? I mean, my gosh, you go to other golf courses that we built, how do you build a golf course 7,000 yards long that suits everybody else who doesn't play there, but plays 51 weeks there and we come in for one week a year and it's very, very difficult, very, very costly.
The domino effect on this thing is tremendous, right across the board. It's got to be looked at in a very, very professional and intelligent manner and the right answer will come out with all of these powers to be and the great minds that are in the game.
RONALD TOWNSEND: Thank you all very much. Thank you, Greg and good luck this week.
GREG NORMAN: Thank you.
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