The Gambler by Kenny Rogers is stuck in my head. For some reason I keep saying the words and humming the tune. After a short while, I realize that there is a lesson to be learned if I decide listen to what Rogers has to say. The chorus particularly applies to golf. Take a look:
You’ve got to know when to hold ’em
Know when to fold ’em
Know when to walk away
And know when to run
You never count your money
When you’re sittin’ at the table
There’ll be time enough for countin’
When the dealin’s done
How many times are we faced with a risk/reward shot? We walk up to our ball and weigh all the possibilities for success. Then a small voices starts to point out a small percentage shot that would advance the ball towards the green. Suddenly, we are more focused on a ‘losing hand’ then making the smart shot. Tunnel vision sets in and now the only option available is to make the impossible shot.
Enter stage right – The Gambler! Instead knowing when to make the safe shot and invoking proper course management, we attempt the impossible. Most of the time, it does not work. We attempt another crazy shot, then the score counting starts. The pressure mounts and low and behold, a bogey turns into a triple! Ouch! We walk to the next hole mumbling to ourselves how foolish we played the last hole!
Course management is critical in golf! It helps players navigate around the links in the most efficient way possible. It helps players decide when to ‘take their medicine’ or to press a difficult situation. Course management is extremely important if a player wants to lower their golf score. Want to learn more, check out one of my previous articles on course management.
Next time, before you hit the links, think about the chorus from The Gambler! I bet it will change your mental approach to your game and positive things will happen!
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!