The Bill Parcels Interview
Recently I had the distinct privilege in asking some questions to NFL legend, and newly inducted NFL Hall of Fame member, Coach Bill Parcels.
Coach Parcels is universally viewed as one of the greatest coaches in NFL history. He was a head coach for 19 years, most notably with the New York Giants where he won two Super Bowls. He also coached the Patriots, Jets and Cowboys. He is the only coach in NFL history to take four different teams to the playoffs.
This year Coach Parcels was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame and just days before I conducted this interview he was honored at halftime of the Broncos v. Giants game (Manning Bowl 9/14/13) where he received his NFL Hall of Fame ring.
Here is how the Coach of Golf would assess Coach Parcel’s game: Coach Parcels hits a nice ball. He plays to about a 12 handicap. The thing that strikes me about Coach Parcels is how dedicated he is to practicing. I see him practicing or playing just about every day. Most days when practicing he usually spends a good one and a half to two hours hitting balls. That is pretty impressive for a man of 73 years old.
Our interview took place at Saratoga National Golf Course in Saratoga Springs, New York where he is a member.
CoG: Congratulations on a great year Coach.
Parcels: Thank you very much. It has been pretty special.
CoG: What is the best part of your game?
Parcels: Probably my wedge. I feel very pretty confident with wedges in general. The rest of my game stinks.
CoG: What do you like most about playing golf?
CoG: You practice a great deal. What are you working on?
Parcels: Well, I like practice. I’ve always enjoyed that aspect of the game and really almost all the games that I’ve played. I like practicing. I am trying to alter a few things. You know at my age now you have to make a few adjustments so most of the time I’m trying to take the club away with a little more width, that kind of thing. I would like to hit it a little farther. I keep losing distance. Also, I don’t want the ball to go left. I hate seeing the ball go left.
CoG: Do you find any parallels between golf and football?
Parcels: Well, I think there are a lot of mental comparisons you can make because in football, physical aspect of the game aside, mentally you have to be able to withstand disappointment. I think in golf you have to have that as well. If you can’t, or are not willing to move on the next play or the next shot you’re not going to do very well.
CoG: What is your favorite course?
Parcels: I’m not an expert or anything but my favorite course is a private course in Richmond, Virginia. The Kinloch Golf Club.
CoG: Who is your favorite golfer?
Parcels: I tend to like the older guys. I really like Ray Floyd and Lee Trevino. More recently I really liked Payne Stewart. Now I guess Tiger Woods. I don’t think there is much not to like about him.
CoG: Have you ever had a hole-in-one?
Parcels: No I haven’t. I’ve been close. I’ve had a few on the edge. I had one over the edge once but it just wouldn’t drop.
I’ve had a lot of eagles on par 4’s though.
CoG: What is your best round ever?
Parcels: I’ve shot some 73’s and 72’s. I’ve never been under par though.
CoG: If you coached golf what would you focus on teaching your golfers?
Parcels: Hmmm. I guess I would like to see my golfers focus on control- control in every aspect of the game. I would like them to hit it far but in the end I would teach them to keep the ball in play. I would also teach them to control they’re emotions. Like I said earlier, you have to be able to leave mistakes behind and move on. You always have to be looking forward to the next shot.