Fuzzy Zoeller won ten times on the PGA Tour, including the 1979 Masters and the 1984 U.S. Open. In an exclusive interview with FanSided.com at the Toshiba Classic, Zoeller said his fun-loving personality helped him perform in the pressure packed world of golf.
The man from New Albany, Indiana didn’t have any mentors when he joined the Tour in the 1970s, but he learned the ropes, and didn’t need to find a new job.
Q&A with Fuzzy Zoeller:
When you joined the Tour, did you have any mentors, or did someone give you any good pointers about how to be a successful touring pro?
I knew nothing, no. I didn’t have anybody, no.
So no one gave you any good pointers?
I wish I could tell you a yes on that, but you know what, when you get on Tour it’s like a sense of accomplishment with what you have done in your life. But it’s no guarantee for anything, but it doesn’t take long to learn the ropes out here. What it takes to make it? Shoot well [because if] you shoot poorly, you get a job. Keep it simple.
You had a very successful career on the PGA Tour. I know you are a fun-loving guy, do you believe your personality helped you in the pressure packed world of golf?
Oh yeah, no doubt about it.
Obviously, you took things seriously…
I don’t know, everyone else took it seriously. I didn’t. It’s always been a game. I was always taught in this crazy game that there’s 18 different games out there you play, every hole, it’s a different game. Some you are going to beat, some are going to kick your butt, and you just got to learn to accept the good and the bad with it.
So you were able to stay very level-headed?
Very level, yes.
1979, the first time you play the Masters you win. Do you have any advice for these hot shots out there, such as Jordan Spieth, Harris English, Patrick Reed…
Hot shots? You are the one who called them hot-shots, they are all professionals…
It’s going to be their first Masters, do you have any advice for them?
Well I think the best thing to do would be to take a local caddie. I’ve always said that. These kids go in there, and they think they are going to be able to pick that golf course apart. There’s a lot of local knowledge to that golf course, and those local caddies are there everyday. It’s a big plus. I mean it might save half a shot or a shot a round or maybe half a shot or a shot every two rounds. But that might be the difference between winning and losing.
Would you be a source of that advice for them?
I’ve always told them that. They think I’m crazy.
The Toshiba Classic is the number one charitable event on the Champions Tour. What does it mean to you to be able to play in events that do so much good in the community?
We are very fortunate in golf. To have an opportunity to help a lot kids that are healthy, help a lot of kids who are not healthy, and put smiles on kid’s faces through charities, different charities. It’s hard to do that in other sports.
Do you have any fishing tips?
Yeah, throw something they’re bitin’ on.