“If you feel good and look good, then you play good” said Will Wears looking back on advice that his grandfather, the legendary Arnold Palmer once said. Wears thanks his grandfather for helping him understand the building blocks to his own success through given advice and experiences that will lead him to his own personal accomplishments.
Moving to a new school freshman year and not knowing anyone can be scary. For Will Wears it was different. Moving as a freshman and attending the same school where his grandfather started his legendary golfing career; everyone including Will, thought big shoes were needed to be filled. Wears stated, “I’m going to feel pressure living up to my grandfather’s legacy, but it’s not just him it’s other people too.” When the audiences watch Wears golf they expect a young Arnold Palmer. Yet, Will has his own personal style and charisma that differentiates him from his grandfather and cousin, Sam Saunders, professional golfer.
Will appreciates the advice and experience of his 83-year-old grandfather, but he also knows he has to work on his own style. “You have to have a personal style, know what it takes to do well. Be comfortable in an uncomfortable environment,” Will says looking back on his grandfather’s advice.
Will knows that to be different he has to be an individual and reflect on improving himself. In some ways, Wears wants to be like his illustrious grandfather. He wants to be methodical, committed and deliberate. “My grandfather does what he wants to do, if he couldn’t do it 100% he wouldn’t do it all,” said Wears. Nothing would ever be half-hearted in Palmer’s eyes. Will is learning tips from his grandfather, but is still working to get comfortable in his own skin.
“Winning the State Title freshman year was definitely a highlight of my golf career,” said Wears. The four-year letterman, four-time WPIAL finalist, three-year PIAA finalist and starter for the Latrobe golf team, Will has come a long way since beginning golf at the age of six. As a kid, he was immersed in the golf world; caddying for his cousin, Sam Saunders, another golf superstar.
Golfing has always been one of Will’s passions. Thinking about it, would Wears have started playing golf if it wasn’t in the family? Will stated, “I played everything as a kid, so i’m sure I would have tried it at some point.” Having a mentor who is the great Arnold Palmer could be challenging at times, but as Wears mentions “He only wants what’s best for me, if I mess up we go over what went wrong and move on. Having him as a mentor outweighs the experience that no modern day golf coach could have.”
In December 2012, Will took the advice and knowledge from his grandfather to compete in the PNC Father Son Challenge at the Ritz Carlton Golf Club in Orlando, Florida. The two person golf tournament was for major championship golfers and sons. Will accompanied his grandfather and got to spend a few days golfing and picking up tips from the other champions. Wears commented, “It was the biggest televised event I’ve been to, and being paired with Jack and Gary Nicklaus was interesting. Everyone was respectful and complimentary. Jack Nicklaus and Lee Trevino passed on tips that I took with me when I left. It’s a memory that I will always have.”
Will will be attending Loyola University Maryland where he will continue his golf career. The memories that Will has of his accomplishments, the advice his grandfather and others have gifted him with, and the experiences throughout his golf career will will lead him to a very successful future.