Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Golf Sportsmanship: Thou Shall Not Bitch, Whine, Moan or Throw Clubs

There’s a saying I made up some time ago to help me have a positive attitude towards the outcome of any swing I produce on or off the course  and it goes like this “you can only complain about your round (or life situation) equal to or less than the amount of practice (or work) you put in.”  For example; let’s say I never practice putting and now I have a 3 foot putt for birdie.  I get up to hit without reading the line because I never practiced it before and I completely miss.  Regardless of where it missed do I really have any right at all to bitch and moan because the ball didn’t drop?  If I never practice hitting a fifty yard shot and in a moment of rarity I turn into Barry Bonds sending the ball into orbit from only fifty yards away, do I really have any room to yell and cuss and throw a club?  The answers are the same and it’s no I do not have any right to complain about those things I am not working to change.   Too many times I have heard, mostly men, yelling and cussing about a bad shot that I am sure they assumed would have somehow been resolved in their fifteen minutes of warm up before their round started.
I bring this up for two reasons and the first is that it is mentally and physically not good for you.  Golf is very much a mental sport.  It doesn’t require huge muscles or amazing coordination to play.  Think about it, the ball doesn’t move, the hole doesn’t move, no one is blocking your shot, no one is yelling at you when you’re swinging, there are no fans of the opposite team waving those annoying sticks to distract you.  The most important part of golf is played between the ears.  If you can play that part well then the rest of it is as they say a cake walk.  If you decide to release your anger after missing your three foot putt by yelling and getting angry I think you should accept that you’re going to miss the next three foot putt.  You’ll be thinking about the last one and how you missed something so easy and you’ll probably send the ball six feet past the hole.   Your mental game dictates your physical game.  If you’re mentally in a bad place your golf game will be horrible (i.e. Tiger Woods). 
The second reason I bring this up is because I’m tired of hearing it.  Get over it.  So you missed a shot.  So what? Are you less of a human being because you missed a shot?  Will your work fire you because you missed a shot? Is your life over for missing that shot?  Trust me no round was ever ruined because of one single shot.  A round is ruined due to continually doing the wrong thing over and over and over.  P.s. there are no quick fixes to a round that is fundamentally flawed.  You’re round sucks because your mind is not in it.  Focus, relax, let go of the tension, see the shot, believe in your ability to execute, accept the outcome before it happens, and then swing and weather good or bad you’ll know that everything that could be controlled by you was and the rest was left to the Golf Gods.

Please stop yelling because you’re hurting my ears.
And that’s the way I see it….

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