The Webb Simpson Interview

This week I had the awesome experience of spending a few hours with the 9th ranked player in the world, Webb Simpson.

It was a great experience. Getting to know one of the worlds best golfers as a person, golfer and man of faith. He was very generous with his time and not in a hurry to go anywhere. Myself and the team I coach spent hours with him and we all asked dozens of questions covering all topics golf.

The interview took place in a church in Savannah, Georgia– the day after the RBC Heritage in Hilton Head, South Carolina.

Here are some of the questions asked and the answers he gave.

COG: Who are your closest friends on tour?

Simpson: My closest friends on tour are Ben Crane and Johnathan Byrd. I’ve gotten to know Scott Stallings well over the last year and I’m pretty close with Bubba.

COG: Aside from travel, etc. what was the biggest adjustment you had to make when you went from college golf to the PGA tour?

Simpson: Pretty much just learning just to be myself. For a long time I was thinking I had to be doing what everyone else was doing. If I saw someone doing a certain putting drill, I thought I had to do it too. If I saw someone like Vijay working for 10 hours a day hitting balls I thought I had to do that too. I tried that and it hurt my game. After a while I realized I had to just figure out what worked for me.

COG: What is the biggest difference between the guys who get on tour and stay there and those who don’t?

Simpson: Self-belief. You can really learn a lot by looking at a players body language and demeanor on the course. You can also tell a lot by the way they speak to themselves or their caddy.

COG: Could you please discuss your workout routine?

Simpson: Mostly I do a lot of work with bands. I don’t do any free weights. A few years ago I hired a trainer. We did a lot of testing to find out where my strengths and weaknesses were. We found out that I tend to swing with my arms. I did that because my lower body couldn’t support my swing. So over the last couple of years we’ve been focusing on mostly my thighs, hamstrings and butt to get my lower body more involved in my swing. I do a lot of squats and core work. One thing that has really helped is massages and stretching. For cardio work I’ll get on the sprint bike for 6 to 8 minutes and go really hard for 30 second intervals. Everything I do is to get my body to be explosive during the swing.

COG: What about guys like Tiger and Camillo?

Simpson: I really like Camillo. He’s a really great guy. But he’s so much of a gym rat that it’s affecting his golf game. Sometimes he’ll cycle for over a hundred miles a day. That’s like 6 hours. It’s given him some lower back issues. Think about it, you can’t be in that position on a bike for that long without it putting a lot of stress on your lower back.

As far as Tiger goes, I think he’s a dummy. I don’t know why he’s doing the stuff he’s doing.

COG: What are you working on now?

Simpson: I’m doing everything pretty well now. I started out this year pretty solid but for some reason lately I’m just not scoring like I think I should. I don’t need to change anything I just need to be patient. One thing I am working on is my putting. I have a tendency when I putt to move my head up and back during the stroke. I do a drill where I have my caddie Paul hold my head still when I putt on the practice green. It might take a few months to correct it but little by little it’s getting better. It’s something I only think about when I’m practicing. When I play I just try and focus on making the putt.

COG: What mental things do you work on?

Simpson: I don’t have a mental coach. I just try to keep things simple. I think many tour players have a tendency to over complicate that stuff. That’s not to say that I won’t have a mental coach someday. I just try and remember that golf is just a game and if I get too technical I try to remember the way that Webb as a kid would play the game.

_____________

There were many more questions and answers but one story he told has to be repeated. It’s awesome and it’s a story from this year’s Masters:

Simpson: My caddie Paul’s wife Michele has been wanting him to buy her a pretty expensive ring. It’s about $9000. Not many people know this Masters trivia but at Augusta there is one palm tree. It’s on the par 3, 4th hole. So she’s been bugging him about this ring for weeks and he told her that if she can find the lone palm tree at Augusta National he’ll buy it for her. So I’m playing a practice round with Bubba and I’m telling him this story about Paul and his wife. So we get to the 4th hole and Bubba screams,”Hey Michele! It’s over here!” Paul gets really mad and Bubba and I are laughing and Paul’s getting madder and madder. Bubba finally says, “Listen, if I win this week, I’ll buy it for her.” I texted him after the Masters and asked him if he was going to make good on his promise. He texted back, “I think I’ll find her something even better.”

_____________

It was an awesome afternoon for myself and my golf team. An experience that none of the guys will ever forget. He was a true gentleman and a lot of fun to be around.

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19 comments

  • Really enjoyed reading the Webb Simpson interview on Coach of Golf. Webb’s parents are members of our church in Pinehurst, NC, and believe he, and others on the tour, are strong Christians. Hope to have the opportunity to meet Webb someday; maybe the 2014 US Open in Pinehurst, NC, on the #2 course.

  • Meeting Webb Simpson on that afternoon is truly something I will never forget, an amazing guy, and he definitely deserved his U.S open victory yesterday!

  • Coach,
    It’s great that you had the opportunity to chat with Webb Simpson. It is nice to see such great guys on the PGA Tour. I really appreciate Webb’s game but I am not sure how he will do after the anchored putters ban. Let me know your thoughts? It will be interesting to see the game change.

  • Coach,

    Meeting Webb must have been great. He seems like a very genuine humble guy which is sometimes hard to find on tour especially with the amount of success he has had lately. I watched him a little at the Barclays last summer and I was really impressed with his game. He has got a really simple swing and an all around solid short game. I found his thoughts on Tiger very interesting being that I have always believed that the amount Tiger seems to be working out is very unnecessary. It will be interesting to see how Webb plays with a short putter once the putter ban goes into effect

  • As a major winner, the opportunity to talk and hear his words of wisdom is not easy to come by. Coach, hopefully you truly cherished this interview as he seemed to be a true gentleman, just as he holds himself on the course. Also a truly awesome story about Bubba and Webb’s caddies wife. Truly a perspective story we can all appreciate.

  • Webb Simpson provides great insight into practicing. Not every drill is meant for you. I see my dad every time the new golf magazine comes out clipping out every article. Yet he still wonders why he’s not improving. I also like his comment about keep the mental side simple. Golf is a game, have fun with it.

  • The two main take-away’s are this: do your own thing and keep it simple. I really enjoyed how honest Webb was about his work-outs and the way he feels about Camilo and Tiger. I think it is really important to see that Webb is a golfer first and only does the work-outs necessary to improve his game. Work-outs are often labeled as beneficial, but, in cases like Camilo’s, excessive and unnecessary exercises can really take a toll on a golfer’s body. I like to work-out a bunch even though I know for a fact that some of the stuff I work on is not geared towards golf, specifically. Webb’s got some great thing’s going and it’s amazing you got an interview with him, Coach.

  • HAHAHA that Bubba story is priceless

  • I love Webb’s answer to the guys who make it out on tour, it’s simply the guys who beat themselves up the least. The guys that tell themselves “I am awesome,” certainly will stay on tour. I know we briefly brought up the idea of getting Keegan on campus. I think that would be an awesome experience.

  • Getting a chance to talk with Webb must have been a great experience. I really liked his philosophy that you need to find the things that work for you and that you don’t have to model your game or routine around other players necessarily. He seems like a great guy and it’s fun to watch him play on tour.

  • I had the opportunity to meet Webb in the players lounge at TPC Sawgrass. He is a great guy and I really respect his game. I think he is a very solid player and relies solely on feel. His style of play is very free and I respect that. It’s awesome that you had the opportunity to interview him.

  • Some beat advice. The only thing is that you must first be good enough to determine what works for you. Although his mental suggestions are very applicable across disciplines.

  • That must have been something to meat with Webb for that long, he seems like a great guy. He had great advise especially about how he tries to keep his mental game simple, and how when he starts to think to much he just thinks back to his younger years. Great article Coach I really enjoyed reading it.

  • Mackenzie Nelson

    This is another great interview coach! I found it interesting what Webb said about self-belief, and how it is the difference between the guys who stay on tour, and the guys who don’t. I think this is a good thing to apply to my game, and I guess that is why it is one of the commandments.

  • Mitchell Campbell

    Great interview Coach! Webb is really a quality guy. I had the chance to meet him briefly at the RBC Heritage this past spring. I like what he said about self-belief but I loved what he said about not trying to over complicate things. That can be one of my biggest issues! Especially when things start to go wrong… This is definitely something I could improve on this year. The caddy story is pretty great as well.

  • This is an amazing interview Coach. Webb Simpson is one of my favorite golfers. I really enjoyed his responses on how guys stay on tour and what adjustments he had to make when he got on tour.

  • Great article coach, it isn’t often you get the ideas and perspectives of a tour player the way your interview did. I especially enjoyed the story about Bubba.

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