As a high school golfer you don’t attain glory because no one really watches. But you do get ridiculed when you lose since golf looks “so easy.” My friends jeer at me whenever I miss a one-step-length putt and lose after leading for seventeen holes.
Golf’s inability to fire up the audience like other sports is because golfers’ greatest challenge is not visible. Unlike “strong opponents” in football, golfers’ enemies are our brains under pressure.
“I Just Cost Myself 250 Grand” demonstrates that even the greatest players collapse when facing easy, yet decisive, shots. Coming first or second makes a big difference in tournaments because the winner earns double the money. Collin Morikawa, who lost thousands of dollars after he failed to make two key putts, conquered his fear by placing himself in the anxiety-inducing final putt position more often.
One of the world’s top three golfers, Justin Thomas, claims he “never had a putt where I’ve thought, ‘if I miss this, I cost myself four hundred thousand.’”
What does this mean for amateur golfers? We must forget about results and focus on the moment.
These situations extend outside golf. For me, speaking publicly and ignoring what my audiences might think, while concentrating on my speech, will translate into steadier and more focused golf playing.
Golf is not a dynamic sport, so its essence is not the athletes’ great physical performance. Rather, the golfers’ great strength is in being able to adjust mentally when facing obstacles.