Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Flexible Greg Is a Role Model for the Seniors; Dr. John's Golf Clinic TEEING OFF

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Flexible Greg Is a Role Model for the Seniors; Dr. John's Golf Clinic TEEING OFF

Article excerpt

Byline: Dr. John

WHAT have Greg Norman's heroics in The Open Championship got to do with my dad, Bob Harrison, who used to play football as a Carlisle United winger when Bill Shankly was manager in the early 1950s?

Well, a good pal of mine, David Fletcher, the professional at the Chester-le-Steet club, went to Royal Birkdale, watched Norman and said you could pick him out from hundreds of yards away.

Fletch, the last winner of the Federation Brewery Trophy in 1999, saw this great mane of blond hair, those wide shoulders, and narrow waist and hips and remarked what superb condition Norman was in for a man of 53.

Norman is shaped like a wedge. He's a really strong-looking bloke. As I am 48 and I want to play on the PGA European Seniors Tour when I am 50, I shall need to qualify in November of next year to achieve that ambition.

I shall need to be fitter than I am now because, although I always take my work very seriously indeed, I enjoy life. And my main source of income is coaching at Matfen Hall rather than playing.

If I am going to make it on to the Seniors Tour and hack it when I get there, I am going need to be as flexible as possible and think more about the demands of being a professional sportsman.

So I am starting a major fitness drive this October, at the end of the golf season, to get ready for my big push in 2009.

The reason for mentioning all this here is I have always suggested to club golfers, who became seniors when they reach 50, that age does not matter as much as flexibility. If you keep your body in shape, you will greatly lessen the effects of advancing years on your golf.

Where my dad and Bill Shankly come into all this is that Shankly, who went on to transform Liverpool into a famous club, was always in fantastic shape himself and was one of the first arch disciples of footballers keeping themselves as fit as possible in and out of the season. …

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