Are you a Positive or Negative Golfer?
Positive or Negative?
Which are you? The golfer that from 162-yards from the hole hits the ball on to the green about 20-feet right of the flag and then complains that your swing didn’t feel good on that shot? Or the Player that says – “OK let’s go knock that putt in for Birdie”?
Guess who’s going to have more success and enjoyment on the golf course week after week. The answer might sound pretty obvious, though I’m sure you know many Golfers that spend more time complaining about their game on the golf course, rather enjoying their time on the golf course.
Now take Moe Norman who just passed away last year. This guy was the greatest ball striker of all time, but unfortunately most people that’ve heard of Moe know him from the Natural Golf stuff that you see on TV or Magazines. Please don’t think of Moe as the guy that started that junk – at the time they approached him about his endorsement, he probably just needed the money and was just taken advantage of by those guys. Moe’s incredible ability to hit the golf ball better than anybody you’ve ever seen was the result of more than just a repeatable golf swing –
In his mind, he never hit a bad shot!
I used to do clinics with Moe, which put me in the incredible postion to watch him hit thousands of golf balls and allowed me to talk golf with him and Craig Shankland for hours at a time. When you got to see Moe hit the golf ball, the first thing that comes to mind is the control he had over the golf ball – it was incredible, absolutely incredible. But as good as Moe was (and he was the best ever), I saw him hit shots that weren’t perfectly solid (though for mere mortals like us, we’d give almost anything to hit the ball half as good as his worst shots).
And as you watched him hit a shot that you knew wasn’t as good as his others shots – you’d look at him and the natural reaction is to say to him – “Moe, it didn’t sound like you hit that one as solid as the others.” Too which he’d look up at you and say as he always did by repeating himself “Where did the ball go? Where did the ball go?” Well Moe it was about 8-yards left of the other balls you were hitting. “It’s on the green. It’s on the green. Just a putt for Birdie. Just a putt for Birdie.”
Now when I sat down to write today – I wasn’t sitting with the intention of writing about Moe – it was more about the differences between Positive Golfers and Negative Golfers. And as I was thinking about this, I realized something – I’ve never been around a more Positive Golfer than Moe and yet, I’ve been around many Negative Golfers. Who do you want to be more like – the Player that in their mind never hits a bad shot or the Golfer that can’t find anything good about any of their shots? To help you answer this question, I’ll rephrase it for you –
Who would you rather be playing with on the golf course, the Golfer that’s happy to be outside playing golf or the Unhappy Golfer that complains to you about their golf swing for 4 1/2 hours?
I was with a Golfer within the last year that that has a lot of talent, but can’t seem to score better. We’re out practicing our Left and Right Game (this is when you hit 10 balls – 1 to the left side of the green and the next to the right side of the green, then repeat till you hit all 10-balls). This golfer is using a 7-iron to the green that is 136-yards away. The golfer hits the first ball about 7-feet left of the flag (which was our target) and looks up at me and says “I think I came a little over the top on that one.” To which I acted as if I didn’t hear his comment. The next shot landed only 3-feet to the right of the flag (which was our target) and the Golfer looks up at me and says “Dang it, I came over the top of that one also. Can’t you help me get rid of that over the top move. I’m going to leave here worse than when I got here.”
To which I replied “How many PGA Tour events have you played in lately?”
This Golfer has the potential to play some really good golf, but will never break-out of the scoring zone they’re currently in because of their Negative Attitude. This Golfer hit 2-shots that landed within birdie range and he wasn’t satisfied. He’d rather waste his energy complaining about ….. in fact, I don’t even know what the heck he was complaining about. He didn’t come close to coming over the top and he hit the ball right next to the hole. And this “Attitude” was brought out onto the golf course later in the day and with the predictability “of the sun rising in the east and setting in the west” – he didn’t play as good as he thought he should. So guess what he complained about during and after the round?
So if your attitude is as Negative as this golfer’s attitude, I have 2-bits of advice for you.
One – Please never come to see us because we won’t like you and you won’t like us and your trip to see us will be a waste of your time and money. There is no way we can help a Golfer that doesn’t want to be helped. And as funny as it seems – we often have Golfers come to see us with what sounds like the sole intention of taking out their golf frustrations on our Instructors. This is with constant complaining about how bad their golf game is and then when Jacob or Hayden or myself try to help them, we get a “No I can’t do that, that won’t work for me” Attitude. So then me being me – I have to answer them by saying “So why did you even come to see us if you’re not interested in improving?”
The 2nd bit of advice if you’re a Negative Golfer is to find like-minded golfers to play with because by playing and spending time with other like-minded Golfers, you might have an “Oh, is that what I sound like” Moment – that snaps you out of your “Poor me can never hit a good golf shot” Attitude. You’ll see and hear how the Negative Attitude is bringing you down like the golfers you’re playing with. Negativity is a disease that gains momentum the longer it has a chance of manifesting itself. So if you play with other Negative Golfers, you can all complain to each other – yet, this might be a good strategy for you because you’ll hear how and see how badly the Negative thinking is destroying the other Negative Golfer’s games and sucking the fun out of your time on the golf course.
Moe, when you’re standing over the golf ball, what are you thinking about, what do you see? “Rainbows and Smiles. Rainbows and Smiles.” Which in my eyes translates into HAPPINESS! And HAPPINESS translates into good golf swing!
Are you Happy on the Golf Course?
I was just with another Gentleman this past week who is just a fantastic person. He was so Positive during our practice time and our On-course time and you know what – it showed in how hit the golf ball and played. Now someone might say – “Well of course he was Positve, he was hitting the golf ball good. I bet as soon as he hit some bad shots, his attitude would change.” To which I answer – no, that’s not necessarily the case because I saw him hit a couple of bad shots and he didn’t let it affect him. I saw him hit a great shot out of a fairway bunker that got caught in the wind and dropped straight down into a greenside bunker and plugged completely in the sand with no way of getting it out on the first swing – and he wasn’t upset. It was just a “rub of the green” and he took his lumps.
Where in the same situation I’ve seen other Golfers go bonkers and start blaming the golf course and the Greens! keeper for ruining their round of golf. And I’ve even seen Golfers do this while in the midst of their best round ever and then end up taking a Triple Bogey on the next 3-holes to ruin what could’ve been one of their “Classic Rounds of Golf”. Though Steve just took it in stride and did what he could from that situation – which was just getting the ball to move. Plopped his next shot onto the green and made his putt for Bogey.
“Onto the next hole!’
Steve will be shooting his best golf ever this summer – there is no doubt in my mind. During his 5-days with us, his swing has improved, his putting has improved, his short game has improved, his understanding of his PLAN has improved – though he didn’t need help with his Positive Attitude, he already had it. And maybe his Positive Attitude on the golf course explains why the High School Golf Team he coaches has made it to the State Championships for the last 4-years and won the States 2-years ago. Maybe his Positive Attitude on the golf course was passed down to the Players on his team.
Maybe this is a good Visual for any Golfer out their with a Negative Attitude – before you remark about how bad your golf shot was – Picture a young girl or boy standing next to you, watching and listening to your reactions to each shot. How do you want to be seen in the eyes of that young person? The grumpy old Woman or grumpy old Man? Or the Golfer that’s having a great time on the golf course?
I’m sure (and hope) you’d select the latter of the 2 options! Then when you carry that Positive, Confident Attitude onto the golf course even though that young person isn’t next to you – you’ll instantly see yourself hitting better golf shots and enjoying your game more.
Golf Made Simple!