McEvoy himself felt that Rose was too young to turn professional. But golf was all Rose wanted to do for many years, and professional golf was always where he was headed.
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He had first picked up a club when he was 11 months old. Whether it was in the back garden at home, hitting chip shots, or playing championships, Rose liked nothing more than playing golf. It had been his game. How could it ever mutate into a burden? That question loomed larger and larger in the months after Rose turned professional. He didn't make a cut until his 22nd tournament as a professional, at the Compaq European Grand Prix in Hexham, England.
Looking back at that difficult period now, Rose believes he understands what happened. His fourth-place finish in the Open Championship? That represented both a promise and a curse.
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I had to get back to basics and look back at my amateur career [and not to that one tournament]as a source of inspiration. I figured okay, I can play the game, and that if I work hard things will turn around. The frustrating part was that I wasn't being stupid by turning pro. I mean, I didn't think I'd be a world-beater straightaway. I was turning pro because I'd achieved a lot of what I wanted to as an amateur except for not winning the British.
My plan was to turn pro and slip under the radar. The misconception is that I turned pro because of that week at Birkdale.
It took a while for things to turn around, but turn around they did. Rose had started working with David Leadbetter when he was 15 and staying at Lake Nona while his family was vacationing there. Leadbetter liked what he saw. They worked on tightening his swing, which was a work in progress. Rose's career took on a more familiar trajectory, as he made his way as a professional golfer. He finally won as a professional in , when he took the European Tour's Dunhill Championship to start the year, then two important tournaments on the South African Tour, and finished his season with a win in the Victor Chandler British Masters.
But was also a most difficult year. Rose lost his father Ken to leukemia in September of that year. He says he did come to relate to Leadbetter, who, like his dad, was born in South Africa, as "somewhat of a father figure," which helped. David was really there for me when I lost my dad. Rose played 11 PGA Tour events in , and earned more than the player who finished th on the money list. He wasn't a PGA Tour member in , but that placing allowed him to win his card for the season. Meanwhile, Rose continued to gain confidence. He tied for fifth in his first U.
Open, which demonstrated again that he had the game to compete at the highest levels. Then, in , Rose made 18 of 22 PGA Tour cuts and more than a million dollars while finishing 62nd on the money list. Rose was on his way as a PGA Tour player, and has improved his position every year since. He finished 55th in , 47th in , and 19th in , when he finished no worse than a tie for 12th in any of the majors. Rose has been sitting in the kitchen and chatting for nearly an hour.
He gets up and makes a swing without a club, as if to stretch. Kate, a former competitive gymnast, comes into the room.
She too is English, and attended Sussex University. She speaks French, Italian and Spanish in addition to English, and worked as a linguist before being employed in a sports management business, where she met her future husband. She loves to play the piano, and will soon take delivery of a Steinway piano that belonged to her year-old grandmother. She's waited five years for a Steinway, and is excited that her grandmother's piano will find a home in her living room.
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As she relates this story, her husband strums away on his guitar. The room speaks of people who have a wide range of interests. A vivid photograph of leopards and lions hangs on a wall beside a staircase leading upstairs. The photo was taken when Kate was on safari in South Africa. There's much to enjoy in this room, which, like Rose's game, is a work in progress that, if all goes according to plan, will only improve.
I have a lot of ideas but we seem to be home only a couple of weeks at a time. The Roses use that time not only to entertain, but, in their own small way, to do good work. They take in dogs from rescue centers, thereby providing them a home for a week or two. The associated website is petrescuebyjudy. I would have had the assumption that dogs from rescue centers are aggressive, but not at all. We've been lucky, too, in that every dog we've fostered has gone on to find a forever home.
Kate remembers that her husband came home one day holding a golf club. They were fostering an eight-month old black lab at the time, and the puppy was terrified when he walked in holding the club.
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She helps organize about one event a year with local charities associated with specific PGA Tour events. During the Verizon Heritage in April the wives helped build a Habitat for Humanity home for Dean Hornbeak, a single father of two boys. They worked with a nail gun and circular saw to help finish the siding.
Let's hope they don't break a nail. But we like to work. I say to people that these women are fit, they are healthy, the live a competitive life with their husbands, and they are going to work harder than you would expect. Without fail every group leader has said we have been one of the hardest working groups they've ever seen. We quite enjoy shattering the illusion that we are just shopping and having manicures.
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The Roses know they are privileged, and they want to use their position to do good. Along these lines, they work with the Tradition Group, an international brokerage house that is one of Rose's sponsors. TFS Energy, a Tradition subsidiary, committed to offset all the carbon emissions that Rose and his team generate this year. That includes air and ground travel. TFS is offsetting the emissions by purchasing appropriate carbon credits.
Tradition went way further by doing the offsets for my whole team. Part of that team now includes Rose's new swing coach Nick Bradley. After years with Leadbetter, Rose committed to working with Bradley. They had first met each other in , two years after Bradley, who had apprenticed with Leadbetter, went on his own. Rose wrote the foreword for Bradley's book The Seven Laws of the Golf Swing, and started to work with him exclusively in As for moving to Bradley, Rose says, "He had strong ideas about what I needed to do. I also felt that the timing was right. We were both trying to make our names.
There was an aligning energy. I saw someone whose talent is far beyond normal. My goal is to get him to the point that Jack Grout got to with Jack Nicklaus and Hank [Haney]with Tiger, to where he is self-sufficient. His parents did a wonderful job with him. I don't know if he could have gotten to where he is without them. When I coach him today, I'll say, what did your father say about this?
One thing is clear: Ken Rose would be very proud of his son. Ten years after a shot that heard round the world, he's making noise again.
He's making noise with a well-rounded golf game, allied to a well-rounded life. Lorne Rubenstein has written a golf column for The Globe and Mail since He has played golf since the early s and was the Royal Canadian Golf Association's first curator of its museum and library at the Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville, Ontario and the first editor of Score, Canada's Golf Magazine, where he continues to write a column and features. Bad Science did, after all, rip the world of fake unmedicine to shreds with a blistering effectiveness rarely matched elsewhere.
I can assure you from personal experience that simply blogging about it occasionally is enough to get you labelled as a bought-and-sold shill by some sections of the alt-med crowd, so you can imagine the kind of things he got accused of for writing a popular book and newspaper column about it.
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