For four days, I was captivate by the stellar play at The Masters. Everyday provided something fun and interesting to talk about regardless of who you were cheering for. I could go on and on about specific shots, but I noticed something that was completely the same regardless of the player, score, or location on the course. It is not something I ever really noticed before, but I can assure you that every professional golfer does the same thing; I wonder if they teach this habit at pro-school or something and professional golfers have to master it before being invited to the PGA Tour?
Are you ready for the big reveal? The closer the player is to the top of the leaderboard, the slower they walk on the green. I do not mean a little bit, I mean significantly. To erase any confusion, I am not talking about their pre-shot routine or the fidgeting with their yardage card (Patrick Reed), but a slow half-step saunter around the green (Dustin Johnson).
I was amazed that regardless of the player, they would shorten their steps and slow, very slowly walk towards their next action; unless, of course they sank the putt, then they went back to normal speed. I started to wonder why every player walked slowly at virtually the same time in their match.
The best I can figure (and I have done it myself) is the extra time taken to get to the ball gives the player a chance to control their nerves. It allows them to think and process the countless variables to their next play. The bottom line is that walking slowly allows them the time to prepare for the what comes next. I think it is a great technique to help mentally process a very stressful part of their golf game.
I am surprised I did not notice this before, but the technique of walking slowly is worth pursuing. Of course, as an amateur there is a fine line between controlling my stress and playing too slow. But, I am fairly certain playing slow is not an issue for me. If anything I play too quickly and need to adjust my pace on the greens like the pros. Thoughts?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!