Ann Liguori Reveals Success Keys of Top Golfers in Life on The Green

Ann Liguori has more energy than six people put together, and she brings it to all her interviews, which are the basis for her latest book, Life on The Green, Lessons and Wisdom from Legends of Golf.
Padraig Harrington - Hoag Classic Newport Beach
Padraig Harrington - Hoag Classic Newport Beach / Michael Owens/GettyImages

“I interviewed 12 legends in golf, six women, six men, and it's basically what they bring from their iconic golf careers to their day-to-day life. So, it really is more about life wisdom and sharing great stories,” Liguori explained.

Each legend reveals a facet of his or her life that they believe increased chances for success. Through her conversations with them, Liguori was able to develop separate chapters about each one.

The interviewees for Life on the Green are Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Gary Player, Padraig Harrington, Bernhard Langer, Ben Crenshaw, Amy Alcott, Nancy Lopez, Dottie Pepper, Renee Powell, Annika Sorenstam and Jan Stephenson.

Liguori said she thought carefully about who would be best to ask about life lessons. First, they had to be role models for others. Second, their stories had to be inspirational. And of course, they had to want to talk about their experiences and what they had learned that they felt might help others.

Amazingly, what they shared with her offered some surprises, even to someone as seasoned as she is.

Padraig Harrington, she said, plays with fear.

“He told me that he plays with fear every day, not just nerves, but fear every day even now when he tees it up on the champions tour or on the regular tour he is fearful, and he talks about how he overcomes that fear,” she said it was a revelation to hear him talk that way. “I mean for Padraig to tell me that he still has fear -- fear that all of a sudden the game will disappear fear that if he takes off for a couple weeks and then resumes his competitive career that he just won't have it anymore.”

Then Harrington went on to explain to Liguori how he overcomes the fear he has to be able to win tournaments, most recently the Hoag Classic, the PGA Tour Champions event in Newport Beach, California.  

Jan Stephenson has a completely different story.

People of a certain age, Baby Boomers mainly, will remember Jan winning the U.S. Women’s Open, the LPGA Championship, or the Peter Jackson Classic. But many will also remember things like the controversial photo of her in a bathtub up to her earrings in golf balls and what looked like nothing else.

“Her colleagues on tour were completely appalled and really upset that she was doing this kind of thing,” Liguori noted. “They used her to sell sex appeal on the (LPGA) tour, and she didn't say no. “

The promotional efforts put Stephenson in a difficult position with other LPGA Players. 

“It was just a very revealing interview,” Liguori said. “Back then it was tough because she really felt alienated because they ( other players) really disliked what she was doing.”

They would whisper when she walked into the locker room because they were very opposed to what she was doing, even though most of the promotion was at the request of the LPGA commissioner at the time, Ray Volpe. He knew she could get attention for the LPGA. She helped Volpe sell sponsors on women’s golf. But that’s not what she believes got her where she wanted to go.

“Her chapter is all about goal setting. That's her main message,” Liguori said. “Her father basically set goals for her when she was a very you know when she was a young girl, and he managed her whole career.”

According to Liguori, Stephenson admitted that all the time she put in doing appearances to promote the LPGA took a lot of time away from her practice schedule. Stephenson feels now that she could have won a lot more tournaments if she had put that time into practicing. 

Liguori is already a well-known radio and television interviewer, particularly in the New York area where she is heard on WFAN radio doing reports from professional golf tournaments including The Players, the Masters, the PGA, the U.S. Open, Ryder Cup, British Opens, and many PGA Tour and LPGA Tour events. She also had a program on Golf Channel when it originally began.

Liguori has interviewed more than 600 different headline personalities including Kevin Costner, Sylvester Stallone, Celine Dion, Vince Gill, Smokey Robinson, Joe Pesci, Matthew McConaughey, Billie Jean King, Pete Sampras, Johnny Bench, Charles Barkley, and many more.

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Life on the Green is Liguori’s second book. Her first one was A Passion for Golf: Celebrity Musings about The Game.

“Really anybody can read it and benefit and be inspired,” she said about her latest endeavor.  “It's just how it is golf teaches us so much, and it kind of translates to our lives.”

The full discussion with Liguori interview is available on The Golf Show 2.0 on YouTube.