Easy going Ernie Els finished his third round at the BMW PGA Championship in a rage targeted at the Wentworth greens staff and the European Tour. He was distraught because the strong winds and hot temperatures had dried out the greens and they were not holding. He came off the course hot under the collar because he hit a 4-iron into the 18th green and it bounced into the back bunker. He failed to get it up and down for birdie. In all fairness to the greens staff they had watered the greens the night before, but apparently not enough to make the greens soft enough for Els.
Do course conditions make your blood boil? Flexibility in your thinking is one of the keys for a good mental golf game.
I remember playing this Wentworth course outside of London. A sand wedge was of no use on the greens as a well lobbed shot would skip off the green. I had to learn the European bump and run shot for the ball to stay on the green. I wonder why the pros with all their expertise and study by their caddies, they wouldn’t know what kind of shot to hit. Or are they so used to perfect course conditions that they need something to blame when the conditions are difficult? Why not blame Mother Nature?
Apparently to avoid a fine for his comments, Els gave a substantial donation to the European Tour Benevolent Trust. The trust was established to prevent poverty for anyone who had ever participated in the PGA European Tour and their dependents. He also apologized to “all the individuals concerned” for his foul-mouthed rant.
Golf teaches us about many facets of our personality. Your mental game of golf is solid when you have thought through your expectations, what you can control and what you can‘t, and you remain in the present with positive thoughts and images of what you want to accomplish. Ernie seems to have failed on all these counts.
When your emotions are out of control on the golf course, it is a perfect time to analyze your beliefs that are causing the distress so it won’t happen again. The same negative beliefs will probably cause you problems in your off-course life also.
Play “In the Zone” With Joan
Since we are all part of the golfing community and want to improve, I would like to hear from you. Leave a comment below and let me know what your concerns are, the parts of your mental game where you need help, what excites you, and what you love about the game.