ASM Interview: PGA Golfer Pat Perez - page 2

By Chris Bello on December 31, 2005

Pat Perez, pictures, picture, photos, photo, pics, pic, images, image, PGA, tour, golf, pro, golferASM: How determined were you to win the whole thing at that point? Top thirty or so get their Card. Once you had it locked up, was there any letting up?

Perez: Definitely not. Besides the fact that first place was $50K and second was $25K, I wanted to win. Nothing beats the feeling of winning. Not even the paycheck. I told (Mike) Owen at the start of the week that I wasn't just going to get my card — I was going to win the whole thing. I hadn't won a tourney in a while and I had a feeling that it was going to be my week.

ASM: Talk a little bit about your off-season regimen this year versus what you've done in years past. How much are you working out? How much are you practicing?

Perez: This year it's been non-stop. I have big plans for 2006 and that isn't happening without a hardcore off-season. I'm playing at least four to five times a week right now. The working out stuff has really been next level. Nothing I've ever done before. It's not just going to the gym anymore to hit the treadmill and throw some weights around. Around mid-November, I headed over to Athlete's Performance out here in Scottsdale. Lots of guys are in there. Last week I saw Tom Watson (PGA), Pat Burrell (MLB), Nomar Garciaparra (MLB) and Jermaine Dye (MLB) doing their off-season thing. The goal is to get your balance and alignment perfect. I'm pretty much in there from 6:00 am until 11:00 am five days a week. Working out all the 'golf' muscles — legs, hamstrings, quads, stomach muscles, sides, etc. I'm also working with a nutritionist to get my diet in order and shed some weight heading into the new season. Last year I trained with the Phoenix Coyotes — just learning how to skate, doing drills and strengthening my legs. I also started getting stretched a few times a day — before a round and in the evening after dinner. Going into this year I wanted to use the off-season to take everything to that next level and make sure that I was physically in the best shape possible for 2006.

ASM: When 2005 came to a close, Tim Rosaforte of Golf Digest mentioned that you were shutting down the range on tourney days, much like Vijay Singh. What prompted that change?

Perez: I've shut it down a few times, but that's not the norm. Believe me, I'd love to never shut it down. I really just head out there when I have some specific aspect of my game to work on, or when things are headed south. During the season you really need to save up your energy. You're not just going to head out there and beat balls for the sake of doing so. Do that in an off week or after the season. Sometimes I'm out on the road for six to eight weeks straight. It can wear on you. There's no sense in heading to the range if all aspects of my game are where they need to be.

ASM: What advice do you have for young golfers dreaming of playing on the PGA Tour?

Perez: Work, practice, discipline and talent. You need all four. Everyone on the Tour has game and comes to play. The ones with the most discipline are the ones who are going to excel. Half-ass it and you'll get half-ass results. You can't do the bare minimum or you're losing your Card the next year. Back in the day, maybe 30 years ago — these guys could play a round and then go hit the bars after a tourney. Physical fitness wasn't anything compared to what it is now. These days you're up early, stretching, practicing, playing 18, stretching, working out, grabbing dinner and hitting the sack. You're eating right and holding off on the cocktails Wednesday through Sunday. Anything less than that, and seriously, you have no chance. On a personal level, you have to stand firm. If you want it, get after it. Don't let anyone stand in your way. If it's your dream, make it happen. Do what your heart tells you. Practice, believe in yourself and stay on track.

ASM: A lot of people see the glitz and glam of being a professional athlete. How tough are those weeknights in Middle America, alone in a hotel room while friends and family are back home?

Perez: You miss home a lot. It gets to you at times. We're home for Thanksgiving and Christmas, which is great — but you miss a lot of other holidays, birthdays, Fourth of July and other good stuff. I mean sure, sometimes it gets to you and you want to be home having a beer on the beach with your buds, but at day's end we know what we signed up for.