An Excerpt from Coach Joey D's New Book, "Fix Your Body, Fix Your Swing"
"Joey D,” Vijay Singh said with a giant smile on his face. “You sounded taller over the phone.”
The first time I met Vijay Singh, he insulted me. I instantly liked him.
This was back in 2001. He’d heard some good things about me and thought maybe something about this unorthodox golf coach with some unorthodox training methods could help him take his game to the next level. Vijay and I worked together for a few months, and in March 2002 he notched his first tour victory in almost two years by winning the Shell Houston Open by a comfortable six strokes.
He invited me to fly back to Ponte Vedra, Florida, with him on his plane.
“What would it take to get you to work with me exclusively?” he asked me. Before I could even start to consider the offer, he added, “I know I can be the best player in the world.”
In 2002, everyone just assumed that Tiger Woods was invincible and would be number one in the world for as long as the sport of golf interested him. Vijay Singh was a PGA Tour Rookie of the Year in 1993, but had man¬aged just a single tour win since 2000. Here he was, though, telling me that he thought he could be number one. Most people would have laughed at his prediction, but I knew how hard a worker he was. In the time I had been with him, he’d just about kill himself whenever we worked out. I respected his work ethic immensely, but I also knew that trying to overtake Tiger would be going up against some stiff odds. I knew something about facing insurmountable odds, though.
I sold my training facility in south Florida and moved north to Ponte Vedra. In September 2004, Vijay outshot Tiger Woods and Adam Scott by three strokes to win the Deutsche Bank Championship in Norton, Massachusetts. As a result, he leapfrogged over Tiger and into the number one spot in the world. Thanks to hard work and a team of dedicated and knowledgeable professionals, Vijay had made good on his prediction. In April 2005, when he was elected into the World Golf Hall of Fame, Vijay thanked several people in his acceptance speech. I was one of them. I sometimes wonder what it was that made me uproot my life to go work with him, and I always come back to what he said to me on that flight from Texas: “I know I can be the best player in the world.”
Something about his confidence and determination reminded me of someone.