Charlie Mechem sits down with Juli Inkster, who is one of the greatest players of the LPGA, member of LPGA Hall of Fame and World Golf Hall of Fame. Recently, she was named captain of the U.S. Solheim Cup Team for the third time in a row. Juli’s looks back on her life and career as she responds to anecdotes from “Total Anecdotal: A Fun Guide to Help You Become a Better Speaker and Writer,” which is available through Amazon or Barnes & Noble, and our publisher.
Getting Paid to Play
Juli recalls winning her first LPGA tournament in 1983 and getting her first check for $22,500. At the time she thought she’d hit the jackpot, though looking back it doesn’t seem like that much. She remembers telling her parents she would be taking them out to dinner—and she’d be paying! Since the 80s athletic salaries have only gone up, and continue to do so, with little sign of slowing.
Visualizing Your A-Game
Sometimes you don’t have your “A-Game,” Juli says, some days you won’t play as well as you may on other days. Juli’s technique of trying to overcome her slumps is by “willing the ball into the hole.” She does this by visualizing how she wants to ball to go, and she believes this helps her grind her way to victory. Though, even with the strongest of visualization techniques, sometimes you’ll just have bad days. It is important to work with what you’ve got that day, sometimes that will be a “B-Game” rather than an “A-Game,” and visualize better days to come.
Laughing at the Human Condition
Laughter and comedy is a part of the human condition. Juli credits her father with providing her with his great sense of humor. She says that they both are great with coming up with hilarious one-liners. If you can’t laugh at yourself, something is wrong, says Juli. She believes that making jokes and telling funny anecdotes can alleviate the tension in any situation.
Family and Golf
Juli and her husband Brian have a great relationship, and he even used to teach Juli about golf. However, after having children, and after Juli had to make the hard decision between being a stay at home mom like her mother was and playing golf, they now try their best to keep their relationship off the golf course. When this decision was made, Juli brought in Mike McGetrick to assist her, though every so often Brian does step in.
While idols like baseball’s Juan Marichal and Tito Fuentes, as well as Golf’s Nancy Lopez, JoAnne Connor, and Arnold Palmer have made a huge impact on Juli’s life and career, the true credit for Juli’s success, she says, are those closest to her. Juli’s father was a fireman, as well as a baseball player, and her mother was a stay-at-home mom, and she learned a lot from them and their support of everything she and her siblings did. Her friends, though unfamiliar with the world of golf, her husband and daughters are always there to support her. Of course, she also must acknowledge Charlie as a great influence on her life and career. Julie notes that she never decided to be a pro, she just fell into it, and perhaps that is because of the driving forces—driving people—who backed her every step of the way.
If you’d like to listen to more episodes of “15 Minutes With Charlie,” please visit charliemechem.com or search for “15 Minutes With Charlie” in your podcasting app. If you are enjoying the show you should check out “Total Anecdotal: A Fun Guide to Help You Become a Better Speaker and Writer.” Learn more at charliemechem.com/book, or find it available through Amazon or Barnes & Noble, and our publisher.