You'll find him easily enough if you need him, but be warned: During the week of a tournament he's too busy to speak to anyone but his clients before the cut. You'll recognize him by the shades, the weathered face, the gray hair, the ever-present cigarette and the logo for the Irish Tourist Board, which pays him a stipend for promotional purposes.
In special cases he'll come to find you—as he did with Goosen after witnessing that disastrous three-putt at Southern Hills. He decided to give the South African some space before calling on him in his hotel room. "How long did I stay?" Vanstiphout says. "Maybe half an hour. We did exercises. I said, 'What did you learn?' He said he now knew he could beat them all. I said, 'That's fine. I know enough and you know enough. Are you getting room service?' And I left. Next morning I went back to his room, did the exercise again, and that was it."
What exercise? "We go into a deep relaxation state before we have a chat," Vanstiphout says, "then we think about what he wants to change, what he wants to become, and I reprogram his subconscious. That's it. Sound easy? For me, it is easy."
Goosen, who since early 1999 has vaulted from 83rd to fourth in the world rankings, recalls being encouraged by Vanstiphout's no-big-deal demeanor at the Open. "I wasn't upset," he says. "I was disappointed. When Jos called, he was very relaxed. He asked me how I felt. I said I felt fine. What did we learn? Well, I'd learned from the mistake. I'd made one mistake, but I'd learned a lot. He was happy with what he saw and what he heard. He realized I wasn't a car wreck. I saw him again in the morning and went out as calm as I've ever been."
If Goosen's quiet calm was the key to his triumph, Vanstiphout's relaxed state was the true wonder. Having invested his life savings in bringing his message to the tour, he was facing the prospect that his most promising pupil might become best known for three-jacking away the U.S. Open.
"Something funny happened in my own game not long after I began playing," Vanstiphout says. "I discovered that the mental side of golf was tougher than in other sports. It was the toughest mental game. I wanted to learn more. I read a couple of books, and one of them I loved—The Inner Game of Golf, by W. Timothy Gallwey."
Hungry for more information, his search began. He strafed Gallwey's publisher with calls and letters seeking the author's address. When he came up empty, he wasn't deterred. Vanstiphout boarded a plane for the States in the spring of '93. "I searched New York, then Miami, then Los Angeles, then San Diego, then Palm Springs—I spent 2� months looking for him," he says.
Finally, in Malibu, Calif., Vanstiphout saw an advertisement for a tennis school promising to teach The Inner Game of Tennis, so he enrolled. Imagine the surprise of his instructor when Vanstiphout announced that he had never played tennis in his life.
"They loaned me some tennis gear," he says, "and I kept talking about Timothy Gallwey. Finally, after a few days, somebody said, 'Jos, that's your Mr. Gallwey standing over there.' He had come to find me. First thing he said was, 'So you must be the crazy Belgian.' I stayed another two months with him, listening—90 percent of the time it is better to listen than to talk."
A year later Vanstiphout had mixed his own ideas with Gallwey's, and the resulting cocktail became his theory on golf. Vanstiphout struck a tentative deal with Club Med to open a string of schools, but when Club Med dallied, he left to concentrate on the European tour.