Do You Really Mean “Good Luck” to Your Opponent?

Saying good luck to your opponent is perfunctory at best. I think it is a traditional and automatic statement we offer our opponents before we tee it up in competition. It is one of those things that is a habit more than anything else and I am not confident we really mean it. Do we really want or opponent to have lucky bounces that could lead to our defeat…..I think not! Wishing “good luck” is like asking someone how they are doing today and hoping they don’t actually tell us. It is a wasted statement!

Mattawa 2-person Scramble at Mattawa Golf and Ski Resort in July 2019

Do not get me wrong, I have said “good luck’ many times to my opponent until I realized that I was just going through the motions. How grateful can I be if my words do not have some sort of meaning behind them. So, a few years back (not sure exactly how many) I changed my opening statements during tournaments. I decided that I needed to change my approach to align my words with my actions.

Yup, I actually changed. It is not earth shattering or profound, but it makes me feel better. There are some limitations to my heartfelt offer of success depending on if I am in the tournament and focused on what I am doing; it is the start of the event; or I am completely out and will try to stay out of the my opponents way so they can play well. So, at the start of each competitive round I say the following:

  • Play well, lets have some fun.
  • Play well.
  • Lets have some fun.

I realize that these little words seem trite, but I actually mean every word. It is not that I hope ill luck on my opponent; it is that I want them to play well and beat me on the links. Not, by some fluke bounce that turns the tides.

In July of last year, for example, Blair and I met Mark and Gord. It was the first day and we teed it up on the first hole I said “Play well and lets have fun”. They whole-heartedly agreed and boy did we have fun. We played okay, but Mark and Gord were funny and made us laugh for most of the round. Overall, the round was perfect for the day and my original well-wishes fit perfectly.

“Good Luck” is really a wasted statement is sports. If you really hope positive things for your opponent I am sure you can come up with something more meaningful. It does not have to be long and involved, but just a short statement you can stand behind.

Do you offer well-wishes to your opponent before competition? If so, what do you say?

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

3 thoughts on “Do You Really Mean “Good Luck” to Your Opponent?

  1. Pingback: 14 blogs to improve your golf swing | Samuel Windsor US Blog

  2. Jim, I also use “play well.” However, I’ve heard audio of hockey players with sticks down waiting for a faceoff, and planning a fight with each other offer “good luck” and “good luck to you buddy, ” to the other guy. Seems like an expression of professional acknowledgement if not anything else.

    Thanks and good luck!



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