Over the years, I have played many team golf matches. Most of them are fun and I have experienced our share of success. We also have met with defeat and it is during those times that the real character of golfers emerges. When the pressure to perform is on, how do you react to failure?
When I play in team events, I am generally the anchor. This is because I am the more consistent of the players and revel in trying to make pressure shots. Most of the time I am successful, but there are those rounds where I could not hit the green with any club from 3 feet away. It is during those rounds that I rely heavily on my playing partners to successfully lead us over the finish line.
During our weekly Men’s Night events at Osprey Links Golf course my regular team of Blair, Rick, Murray and myself play well enough to be in the running for a prize. However, during most weeks at least one player is not at their best and the others try to encourage him to do better. Mostly, the poor play is due to high expectations for ourselves and this compounds our frustration.
On our team, each player has a role. They know this role because that part of their game is the strongest and fits into the team dynamics well. Additionally, we expect that player to focus on that area the most regarding of the overall results. Their contribution makes us better. For example, Murray is our long hitter. The rest of the team wants him to try and hit the ball a mile (which he can) as often as he can. Unfortunately, this does not do much for his overall score, but as a team event the combined score is what is important.
Having said that, if a player happens to hit a great shot in other unexpected areas, then that is a boon for the team. And some weeks that is vital to lower golf scores if others are not performing. As we play our round, we joke and poke fun at each other – but never do we get personal or upset at the overall results. We never point fingers or hold a grudge for poor play. Mostly because during any given week it could be any of us!
My attitude is that every player is trying their beat on our team. Sometimes it is frustrating to watch others (myself included) make a poor shot when a good one is needed, but that is competitive golf. If I ever played on a team where one of players pointed fingers at someone else, I guarantee that would be the last team round I played with that person. There is no place for that foolishness. Besides I think the saying about glass houses fits in this situation.
Golf is suppose to be fun. Playing in team events can be a great time. I always expect we will play well, but never do I feel that my other team members let us down. Win or not, I believe that we are all trying our best and as such there is no need to compound their frustration by pointing fingers. This team dynamics is not fun and if we are not having fun what is the point.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!