I love to play in golf tournaments. I think competition helps hone my game and make me a stronger golfer. Last year, I played in 8 tournaments that are designed as team events. Some of these were charity events and the score really was not important, but I I always like to play my best. And not matter what happens, I never point fingers at my playing partners. The whole ‘glass house’ metaphor comes to mind. I have watch other players crank at their playing partners and I think that is just bad form.
I realize that friends have a different relationship and have a tendency to be more direct. Personally, I think that is fine, but is not part of my game at all. I think that being a gentlemen, regardless of how your playing partner shoots, is of utmost importance. It really defines how I look at golf.
During my tournaments last year, I experienced some highs and lows. Partnered with players of all handicaps, I was always the anchor to the team. There is a bit of pressure playing last, but I enjoy the challenge. I find that by watching others play (especially putt) I can play safe or go for it. The risk reward aspect of a golf shot becomes more prevalent and as the anchor, it is expected that I can pull of the shot required.
Fortunately, I have learned over the years to only expect my playing partners to do their best; nothing more complicated than that. Sometimes they make fantastic shots and other times, they give me incentive to make a better shot. Regardless how they shoot, I remain calm and supportive. Before you think I am being a bit condescending, I expect the same from my playing partners. If there is one thing I do know, I am not perfect and do not always make a great shot!
My usual playing partner for most tournaments is my friend Blair. We play golf regularly and try to play in a few tournaments through the year. This one event late in the season drives home my point. We played at Osprey Links Golf Course in the Sportspal 2 Man Challenge. The first round was Best Ball format and the second day was a Scramble. We played well enough to be last in the championship flight, but so poorly we both left the course shaking our head.
Neither of us could make a shot. And if one of us happened to make a good shot, the other made a great shot. We were completely in sync the wrong way when playing in a tournament. As the event unfolded, we both felt terrible about how poorly we played. Instead of pointing fingers at each other, we started to laugh and kept playing poorly! We had ample opportunity to point fingers, but never did. This is exactly how players should act when things are not going well on the course.
On a side note, we are not following the hype about Canadians and being polite, we just know that pointing fingers does not work:
Not pointing fingers are your playing partner, internally or externally, does not help your game. It increases your frustration and makes you focus on unimportant things. As I play, I only worry about my game and that helps me play better golf.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!