After watching Sergio Garcia and Bryson DeChambeau express frustration while hitting the ball poorly out of a sand trap, I wonder if something is wrong out side of golf. Generally, they are intense players, but manage their emotions very well. Unfortunately, their over-reaction is something we see fairly often from professionals on tour in the form of swearing, throwing clubs, or in Sergio and Bryson’s case damaging the course. However, if we think the professionals are losing it, image how many amateurs react!
Amateur golfers are prone to a roller coaster ride of emotions when playing golf. The higher your expectations on your ability to play, the great the ride. Personally, I work at remaining calm, but every now and again I have a little outburst of emotions. It does not last long and is limited to a verbal reaction.
Today I came across something that Warren Buffett said that many amateur golfers should take to heart:
Now Buffett was talking about words, but in my mind I substituted the first sentence to read “….an emotional reaction to every golf swing.” I know I am going to make a poor shot from time to time and how I react to this shot is as important as playing with positive emotion on the course. The moment I start to react negatively, my round is over. It is very hard to recover.
I am not suggesting that we all be Mr or Mrs Bubbly Happy Happy Person while we play golf, but understanding that a constant stream of negative thoughts and emotions disconnects our golfing minds from our swings, clouds our judgement, and limits our capacity to mange our game. It has never worked for me where I got mad or upset at my game and it turned around so I would start playing better. Never!
Therefore, the next time you find your negative emotions starting to rise, take a page out of Warren Buffett’s book and remember that “true power is restraint”. Calmly figure out what went wrong, if you can, do not repeat it and move on. I understand this is easier said than done, but if we can master this skill, our games will be better for it.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!