CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --
Lance Cpl. Matthew Wille applies three principles to his golf game; focus, concentration and technicality. He believes applying those principles have not only improved his golf game, but made him a successful Marine.
The 20-year-old Marine from Manhattan, Kansas, has been playing golf since he joined the Marine Corps and his passion for both continues to grow. In this interview he tells us how his dedication to the game makes him a better Marine.
Q: What does a Marine Air-Ground Task Force planner do?
A: MAGTF planning is the logistics behind a movement of units and supplies to and from operating bases.
Q: Did you choose to be a MAGTF planner?
A: My recruiter told me to pick something that seemed interesting to me. So I narrowed it down to [Meteorology and Oceanography] and MAGTF planner. The Marine Corps chose MAGTF planner for me, but I’ve enjoyed it ever since. You get a feel for everything that’s going on in the Marine Corps, so I get to learn a lot.
Q: Is there a lot of pressure in your job?
A: There’s a little pressure like anything else, but it’s all about time. [Marines] need it, and they need it now. It’s our job to get it going, whatever it is they need.
Q: When did you start golfing?
A: I picked up golfing about a month before I left for boot camp. So I’ve been doing it for about two years now. I do love it. It’s mentally challenging. It gets me out of the barracks and it keeps me going. I look forward to doing it every weekend.
Q: What’s it feel like when you hit that perfect drive or sink a shot?
A: It’s kind of relieving. Every time I walk up to the tee, I’m thinking I’m probably going to shank this one or slice this one. But when I hit it right on the face, I know it’s a good shot. It’s pretty rewarding.
Q: Was it hard for you to pick up the game?
A: It was slow getting into it. I wasn’t going consistently like I wanted to. Lately though, my game has gotten better. I’m more consistent with my shots and it keeps getting better.
Q: What was your first game like?
A: I was terrible. It’s still a work in progress, but it’ll always be that way.
Q: How do you apply your game to what you do at the MEU?
A: It helps. I apply focus, consistency and technicality. Those are three big points that I apply to every task I do. I focus all my energy and skill to completing tasks. I apply consistency by going to work every day, getting into your routine, but always being on your toes.
Q: What is it that you love about the game?
A: I always notice that every time I go out there the only thing I ever focus on is just playing and being there. I can’t remember a time where I’ve gone, pulled up to the tee box and thought about work, or things at home, or my car. Not one time have I gone up to the tee box and had that, so that’s what I really like about golf too. It takes my mind off of everything.
Q: What’s been your best game so far?
A: I haven’t had one yet. I usually play the first nine holes and if it’s really bad I’ll quite keeping score and just work on my game. But numbers wise, I shot about a 90 this weekend.
Q: What’s a goal you’ve set for yourself when you play?
A: At least one birdie and a few pars.
Q: What’s been the best hole you’ve played?
A: I’ve had one birdie and that was exciting. I hit a great shot off the tee box, followed it up with another great shot about 100 yards. I got it right on the green about four yards away from the cup. It was a par four and it was just a great hole.
Q: You golf a lot with Marines you work with. What does that mean to you?
A: It reflects greatly on what actually goes on at work. You go out there and you can relax with the people who look over you and then go back into work. You build that respect, but you know you’re having a great time with the Marines that you work with.
For the Warrior Wednesday video on Wille, visit our YouTube page at: http://youtu.be/b3xDZDenQbs