After a great night’s sleep I am ready to write about the so called “mental game” of golf. Any one, who has played the game for any length of time, knows the drill. Stay in the moment, breathe, take enough club, avoid trouble, stick to your routine and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,blah. All this vast knowledge of the mental game did not help Adam Scott, Jim Furyk and many others. There have been 3 times in the last 15 years that a player only needed to double bogey the last hole and win a golf tournament. One of those was a major championship. All 3 players made triple bogey to go into a playoff and lose. What is even more amazing about this, is 2 players made 7 foot putts to make the triple bogey. Here is another interesting phenomenon. In 2005 Peter Lonard won the 2005 MCI Heritage Classic for his only PGA tournament win. His scores for that week were 62, 74, 66, and 75. How is that for consistancy. His scores varied from 12 to 8 to 9 shots each day, and this on the best week of his PGA career. So why do we get so upset when our scores vary from one time to next when we play. Is there really a mental side to this game. Do mistakes on the physical side lead to brain confusion. Are we making too big a deal of the mental game saying the game is 90% mental and 10% physical. The only golfer that I ever saw that never really gave a tournament away was Jack Nicklaus. I just refreshed my memory by reading the chapter The Mind Game in Nicklaus’s book My Golden Lessons. It is not too enlightening on why this man was so mentally tough. Nicklaus has always been big on visualization. I don’t care how great your visuals are, if your grip sucks you are going hit a bad shot. This is my 55th season of playing this damn game and I have battled yips, choking and hitting bad shots when it mattered the most. Most of these things I have conquered and have played well in the heat as I like to call it. Lets clear up another thing here. Hitting a golf ball 50 yards off line or more, missing 2 foot putts, never getting the ball airborn, 3 putting, losing 4 dollar golf balls in woods and bodies of water and leaving the ball in the sand trap after you taken a mighty cut at it is not FUN. Golf is only enjoyable if you can play the game to the best of your abilities. I do know that for now I don’t have the answer to the so called mental side of this game. I also know that I am not alone.
One Reply to “The Goofy Game of Golf Searching for the Answer”
I would propose that all that mental game knowledge DID benefit Furyk, Scott and others time and again. It’s easy to criticize when they choke and blow it in the clutch, but can you site all the times the mental techniques have worked for them? How about when Furyk won the U.S. Open? We all choke at some point but should you be considered a failure if you only succeed 90% of the time?
Great entertaining and though provoking post, thanks!