The Cut : The Cut - Spring 2016
32 THE CUT LAUNCHING LYDIA 32MY LIFE IN GOLF ‘ O nce upon a time’ are words most commonly associated with fairy tales. And this is a book of golf stories. But ‘once upon a time’ is very much part of Guy Wilson’s story, a tale that includes a chance meeting across a pro shop counter – the novice coach and a five-year-old Korean-born girl – that takes them on an unexpected journey. A long, winding and often heady trip all the way to world domination. What could be more fairy tale than that? But Guy’s ‘once upon a time’ doesn’t start with Lydia Ko. It begins in his home town of Whenuapai in west Auckland, which is where he first got his hands on a set of golf clubs. During school holidays Guy and his older brother Tay would entertain themselves by rummaging through the family garage, looking for things that could be useful in helping them to pass the time. On one such occasion they unearthed an old set of clubs that belonged to their father, Fraser. The clubs hadn’t seen daylight for some time, so the boys gathered them up and took them down to a rugby field close to their home to give them a workout. Their main aim was to try to hit a golf ball over the goal posts. It wasn’t an easy thing to do and even swinging a 7-iron successfully was difficult, and the boys quite rightly concluded that golf was an extremely challenging game. But that didn’t deter Guy; in fact, it did the exact opposite – it spurred him on. Not that he suddenly excluded other sports from life. At school he still played cricket and soccer, but in golf he found a game he could play on his own – no brother or teammates required. As long as he had an open space, a club in his hands and a few golf balls to whack, he was happy. However, it was Tay who first got serious about the game. He’d spent a summer with friends at Whangaparaoa and returned home raving about golf. Guy decided then and there that anything his big brother could do, he could do better, so he spent the rest of the holidays working on his game. Eventually, the boys’ father organised for Tay to join the Pupuke Golf Club and a couple of years later Guy, too, became a member. The membership fee was $200, an amount that seemed huge, especially for a one-income family. But by the time Guy was 14 years old he was at the club from dawn to dusk every holidays, and he reasoned that for his father the membership fee was money well spent. Fraser was a single parent, and the golf club acted as a safe and secure babysitting service for both his boys. For Guy, hanging out at the club every holidays morphed into working in the pro shop at weekends. The pay wasn’t much, only $5 an hour, but that didn’t put him off. He loved being at the club, getting to know the members and the staff, and in particular club professional Rory Moor, who took him under his wing. Working alongside Rory, Guy, who at this stage was coming GUY WILSON WAS LYDIA KO’S FIRST COACH. IN THIS EDITED EXCERPT FROM HER NEW BOOK, HEATHER KIDD LOOKS AT THE AUCKLAND PRO WHO TOOK A FIVE- YEAR-OLD FUTURE GOLFING PRODIGY UNDER HIS WING.
The Cut - Winter 2016
The Cut - Summer 2017