‘Sometimes You Need To Lose So That You Can Learn How To Win’
It seems as though many Golfers get so close to shooting their best score ever, but then we ultimately, out of nowhere, do something to mess ourselves up on the last hole or two. Fortunately, this is a process that doesn’t need to be constantly repeating itself. There is a way to get over the hump so that you don’t “shoot yourself in the foot” on those last couple of holes.
I was speaking to a Golfer the other day on a GMS Instructor For Life Telephone Lesson – this Golfer has worked hard to get his game into the low 90’s. We were talking about what he should be practicing now that he has improved so much and how to advance to the next level. It was a great phone call!
Five minutes into our conversation, as we were speaking about his progress and all the things he has improved in his game – he told me that during his latest round of Golf he actually was even par after 7 holes!
But, out of nowhere – he took an 11 on the par four 8th hole. An 11? ‘Where did that come from?’ Hole 8 was followed by a Double Bogey 6 on the 9th hole.
So it was 7 holes of the best golf of his life … followed by a huge let down.
Now there are two ways we can look at this: is this a positive occurrence or a negative occurrence? I’m going positive all the way. Why?
First – even though the 9 holes ended with one hole being 7 over Par and the next being 2 over Par – that still equals a 45. And for a Golfer that was scoring in the 100’s just a short time ago and has recently worked that number down into the low 90’s (with the help of GMS) – a 45 actually isn’t a bad score. It’s still trending better than this Golfer’s average score.
Second – for a mid-90’s Golfer to be even Par through 7 holes says that the Golfer has the ability to hit some good golf shots. It says that the Golfer knows how to make a Par putt. It shows that the Golfer can manage his/her golf game. It says that the Golfer knows how to play one shot at a time and has been working on his/her PLAN.
Third – ‘sometimes you need to lose so that you can learn how to win’. Just as Dustin Johnson experienced a letdown on the 4th day of the US Open – this Golfer experienced a letdown on the last 2 holes of what could be termed a “breakthrough round of golf”. And as big as a US Open win that it would’ve been for young Dustin – finishing 9 holes at even par or in the high 30’s would’ve been this Golfer’s equivalent of winning the US Open.
As Dustin’s 4th round ended with disappointment – I believe Dustin will become a better, stronger Golfer because of it. He perhaps will have a better understanding of how to handle the pressure next time. And I believe that the GMS Golfer I was speaking to will be able to do the same. Actually, I guarantee the next time he’s even Par after 7 holes that he won’t make an 11 on the 8th!
Breaking through on your very first opportunity to score a Major win (or breaking an important number such as scoring 39 for 9 holes) doesn’t guarantee continued future success. Case in point – Trevor Immelman. A great, great Golfer – but as all the experts were saying how his Masters win would catapult him into being the equal of Tiger Woods – it hasn’t happened. Although, on the other hand – how many times did Mickelson fail before winning his first Major? ‘Sometimes you need to lose so that you can learn how to win.’
So for the Golfers out there that have recently come close to breaking through, but somehow messed-up on the last few holes – think of that experience as a positive. To put yourself into the position to breakthrough shows that you have the ability to play good golf. And the more times you put yourself into that position – the more opportunities you’ll be giving yourself to learn how to handle the anxiety that comes with making a breakthrough.
Now the key to getting yourself back into that position is this: don’t expect to be in that position every time you play. The harder you try to get back into that position – the more you won’t allow yourself to get there. The only reason any of us get into the position of being on the verge of breaking through is because we were more focused on playing one shot at a time; and we weren’t concerned with score. Meaning – you were more focused on your PLAN and not focused on how you needed to make that 10 foot putt for Par.
Hence, you were able to put yourself into a wonderful position to breakthrough. However, if in your next round of golf you think about getting back into that breakthrough position – you’re more likely going to have a disastrous round of golf.
That’s the beauty of golf: the more you’re focused on score … the worse your score will be. The more you’re focused on your PLAN … the better your score will be.
The Monkey is always trying to score their best and most often scores like they always do
The Player is always focused on their PLAN and that often puts them into a position to have a breakthrough round of golf