Butler Cabin, Augusta National (c) Burgh Golfer

Monday, April 15, 2013

Positive Thinking on the Golf Course

I played golf over the weekend with a good friend of mine and we had the opportunity to discuss golf strategy.  I told him that I am a huge believer in the power of positive thinking.  I am no Tony Robbins but I firmly believe in the power of positive thought in all aspects of life.  I do not know where this stems from or whether it is a learned behavior or a personality trait.  You will need to read a psychology blog to get an answer to that one! Regardless, I have experienced it enough in my life and noticed it enough in other people to trust in the power of positive thinking, but on and off the course. 
Anyhow, here is how the topic came about.  We were playing a match and upon entering the eighth hole the score was tied.  We were on the par five 8th hole when my buddy hit his third shot to two feet and made the putt for a birdie four.    I missed the green with my third shot and was pin high about twenty feet from the green.  I told my buddy that I need to make the chip to tie him.  It was not a particularly difficult chip shot and one that a player could make if you get the ball tracking online.  So, I approached the shot, hit it perfectly, and holed it! 
The discussion about positive thinking began on the 11th hole, which is another par five.  As I hit my third shot the turf gave way and my ball came up about ten feet short of the green.  I then chipped the fourth about twenty feet past the flag leaving myself a tough downhill putt -- not very good.  At this point I felt like the eleventh hole owed me one.  I said as much to my buddy as I approached my par putt.  I do not know why I think that way, I just do.  I always feel like if the course delivers a bad break, it owes me.  Needless to say I stood up and knocked in the par putt to win the hole.
I explained to my buddy my theory on the power of positive thinking and how I use it on the golf course.  If you play golf long enough you almost have to think this way.  This is especially true if you play any competitive golf events.  You always have to believe that you can still win the hole, the match or the tournament no matter how dire the circumstances.  Tiger Woods is the master at this.  He always thinks he has a chance to win and usually does. 
I personally believe that players either think positively or negatively on the golf course and there is no in between.  If you ask most players if they are thinking positive or negative thoughts during the course of the round they would probably say the latter.
The next time you are faced with a difficult situation on the golf course, think positive.  Imagine yourself remedying the situation, improving your score, making a better swing, etc.  Do not let negative thinking creep into your game.  If you think positively, I promise you will play better, score better and enjoy the game much more than you ever have before.
Please share with us stories you have about positive thinking on the golf course.

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