I love watching the majors. I love seeing how the best players in the world handle themselves in the adverse situations that always seem to come about in the majors. Sure, it’s nice to see the players we admire have some struggles like we do when we play. But, mostly I love seeing all the “lessons” we can learn from watching the majors.
Seeing the best players in the world take two to get out of a bunker, three putt or even four putt, and whiff the ball when trying to hit out of the rough does show us they are human. But, do you take notice of the real lessons here? Most people probably don’t.
It doesn’t really matter whether they have misread a putt, hit a poor shot, or made a bad decision as to how much risk they should take, the reaction is almost always the same when the shot doesn’t work out. And, that is basically no reaction.
The common reaction I see is this – The player sees the shot doesn’t go as planned, player frowns indicating a lack of approval or confusion as to how the result came about, player, almost unnoticeably, shakes head to further confirm they really don’t know how the ball ended up where it is, player finds the ball and hits it again. That’s it!
No club throwing or slamming it into the ground to punish the offending tool. No profanity laced commentaries on how unfair the course is or what a stupid so and so you were for trying that shot in the first place.
OK, I did see a driver get slammed and broken earlier this year. And, it was obvious the camera and microphone stayed on that guy way too long that time I heard someone utter an 8 letter word – actually I think it was two 4 letter words spoken very smoothly, which, not unlike good golf swings, comes from a good deal of practice.
We are talking about the best in the world. If anyone should be upset I would think it would be the tour players. They don’t just play golf Thursday through Sunday, most of them are working on their game six or seven days a week. This is what they do for a living and if they don’t do it well they don’t get paid. These players do not expect to hit bad shots, but they know bad shots are part of the game, so they accept bad shots when they happen and move on.
The next time you play, I challenge you to play like the tour professionals do. We aren’t that good, we know we are going to hit some bad shots, so don’t let it tear your heart out when you do hit a bad one. It’s part of the game, especially for the weekend player.
If you realize going out you WILL have bad shots that day, how are you going to handle them? Accept it, go find it, and hit it again. I think you’ll find your score improves when you get your emotions under control and play like the pros.
Kim Anders is a PGA Professional residing in Mazatlan, Sinaloa Mexico. You can reach Kim via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.