Your Golf Attitude Affects Others
The golf attitude you bring to the golf course can make an enormous difference in not only your score but also the score of your playing partners. It is one thing to watch a poor performance; it is another when you are sub-consciously tempted to join them at the party and start playing poorly as well. If you have ever played at a course and been paired with a pure beginner you may have been tempted in that regard. After watching them flub their attempts to get down the fairway as you watch their frustration and wait politely for them to catch up with your drive some of that may rub off on your shot and duplicate his efforts. Be very careful that you are playing your own game and only your game.
Golf Attitudes at the US Open
Last week , I decided to take in the US Open by way of the internet. Fox news/sports did a reasonable job of covering the event although the commentary left a lot to be desired. The first particular threesome that I caught consisted of Tiger Woods, Louis Ooisthuizen and Rickie Fowler. Basically here we have two up and coming champions playing with someone who for a time was the best golfer in the world. The round was a bit sad to watch. For what ever reason Tiger has been struggling to make his come-back this season thinking that his injuries are gone and his form is in tip top shape, but the form is not quite there and his timing is ever so slightly off. The course at Chambers Bay, Washington is intimidating to look at from my perspective with its distances to the green from the tees and its abundant sand trap laden fairways. Designed as a true test of the abilities of a professional golfer this course requires not only distance but also the ability to draw and fade almost every shot. The distances were not only tough, but also very precise. If the player needed 265 yards to reach the green, a carry of 267 would be enough for the slope to take over and drain the ball into the nearest sand trap. In fact as I watched it happened to Louis Ooisthuizen who managed to get out onto a hillside and mark his ball before it rolled back in.
The challenge is that your golf attitude is a communicable disease. Watching that round proved to me that it even works on the professional level. Both Louis and Rickie are professional and yet they watched and chose to follow Tiger into the tank. On the same holes where Tiger would have an errant shot they would have one as well in a few cases where his recovery shot was poor and he found further trouble they seemed to make the same kind of mental mistakes as well. Bottom line, when you loose your concentration on the golf course, start rushing your next shot make an off balance shot, flub two more it can rub off onto your playing partners. They are standing there not wanting to say anything but they are still affected. For this round at the end of the day Louis needed a 66 the following day to make the cut, Rickie needed a 64. To his credit Louis not only carded a 66 the following day he went back and repeated that on Saturday and then 67 on Sunday for a second place finish in the tournament. Rickie was not able to recover from his 78 with a 70 on Friday and thus missed the cut.
On the other side of the coin, playing with superior players whose every shot is something special seems to bring out the best in you. I have been there and I am sure you have too. Angel Cabrerra who is a solid player, was in a Thursday group with eventual winner Jordan Speith, that group was knocking the lights out of the ball and his score for first day was 70, followed by 75,74,74, he simply followed the lead and kept up with the leader. Your golf attitude cuts both ways.