It’s seems like every U.S. PGA tournament I watch on TV anymore is mostly about how loud some moron can yell something absurd to make sure his idiot friends at home know it was him yelling. I did not hear this stuff once while watching the British Open (the Open Championship). In fact, the crowd there seemed very respectful — sure they hollered, but mostly motivational things towards their favorite players. Who are these idiots yelling, “Mash potatoes,” and stuff like, “Get in the hole,” when the pros tee off on a 560-yard par 5 at PGA tournaments? Why isn’t someone in the crowd telling these idiots to shut their traps or knocking the fools out!
While watching the recent Bridgestone Invitational, every stinking shot Tiger hit, some jerk was yelling, “Get in the hole!” It couldn’t have been the same guy — there’s no way he could move through the crowd that fast to the next hole. If it was the same guy, why didn’t someone stuff a hotdog in his mouth every time he opened his trap or escort him off the property?
In the Open Championship, Tiger finished T6. He appeared mad on just about every shot he took. In fact, he was busted more than once for dropping the “GD” bomb on microphone, and slamming clubs to the ground, spurring some pretty harsh criticisms from broadcasters, and rightful so. However, a few weeks later in the Bridgestone Invitational, suddenly he’s a new player with a better attitude, and he vaults to a huge early lead, going on to win his fifth tournament of the year by seven stokes. Tiger played like a different player with a completely different attitude — he actually looked like he was having fun.
This got me thinking about my own game. Some days, I play my absolute worst golf — when I’m frustrated or mad just because I’m not hitting the ball well that day. It’s almost as if I’ve convinced myself of the last statement, and I play that way for all 18 holes. No, I don’t throw or slam clubs to the ground — I mostly hold the frustrations inside.
Recently, I was playing with three players who, well let’s just say, made me feel really good about my golf game. They must have lost two dozen golf balls and, if counting all their strokes, shot well over 100. I played my best that day. I hit nearly every fairway dead-center, every green in regulation, and shot par on all but six holes. The six holes I didn’t par were the results of bad shots, but the guys I was playing with were having such a tough day — nothing could make me feel bad about my mishits, so I never got frustrated or angry. I played like a different player with a completely different attitude and scored well.
I learned something that day. In golf, even Tiger’s game is off when he’s frustrated and not relaxed on the course. It’s not always a good idea to play to your competitors’ game, even when they are beating you by a landslide. Play your game, relax and have fun. Bad shots happen, but good shots can outweigh the bad, if you focus on the good ones and forget the bad ones. Have fun golfing, but please don’t be that guy yelling “Mash potatoes,” or “Get in the hole,” that’s just dumb!