The risks of forcing shots

What can we learn from the professional golfers we love to watch?  We can learn a lot.

On this weeks episode of “Being John Daly” we saw Daly’s meltdown in the last round of the tournament in Mayakoba, Mexico.  By his own admission, he was going for too much.  He made some bad decisions and he compounded the errors by trying to hit it farther, or draw it more, or going after too many pins.  He was forcing it and he paid the price.

He knew that he didn’t need to hit driver, that it was a perfect 3 wood golf course for him.  But when things started to go south, the driver came out to play.

Instead of taking his medicine and getting back to the strategies that got him there, he took unnecessary risks, and he felt he had to do that because the tournament was getting away from him.  But that is precisely the time that he needed to play within himself.

I’m certainly guilty of doing this.  I know that sometimes when a round isn’t going well I’ll try to make up for lost shots with some hero shots and end up getting in more trouble.

Golf is a game of patience, and part of being patient is being in control of your emotions.  I think Daly let his emotions get out of hand on Sunday because he really wanted to be in the top 10 to get that exemption into the Waste Management Open with a top ten finish at Mayakoba.  When he saw that slipping away, he fought harder, but in fighting harder he brought more mistakes into play.  If he had hit 3 wood and off the tees instead of driver, he might have kept himself in the tournament.  But it’s hard to come back from 5 bogeys, multiple double bogeys and a triple.  Daly paid the price for trying to get too much out of each shot.  And it’s a lesson well worth learning from.

See also “Bad Decisions are Worse than Bad Swings“.

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