Congratulations to Brittany Lang who won her first LPGA Tour event last week at the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic in Ontario Canada. She did it in a nail biter of a playoff that lasted 3 holes. It was the first time she had ever been in a Tour playoff and what a playoff it was! She birdied all three holes to take home the trophy. Another take home gift is a Rolex watch, given to “first time” winners on tour. I guess one could say, without seeming to pun on the watch theme, “it’s about time” Brittany won on tour….or is it? How long should it take a tour player to acclimate to the rigors of the tour, the endless travel, the grinding competition etc. and get into a rhythm long enough to put 4 good rounds together? If you’re playing tournaments, working with a coach and practicing, how long should it take before the first win? Any thoughts? If a talented tour player doesn’t win in the first year or two or even three, should they just toss the idea of playing golf for a living right out the window? Should they feel like they can’t play worth a darn, a hill of beans or even worse, that they should never have taken up the game in the first place? Imagine a tour player, with no wins after three years, declaring themselves a complete and utter failure, stomping on the ground a while, tossing a club or two in the woods or perhaps and maybe even better, cannonballing the whole golf bag right into the water hazard car keys and all! Of course, the tantrum described above is fictitious and no one is tossing clubs, feeling worthless or declaring themselves failures, certainly not tour players. And most definitely not Brittany who took SEVEN years to win on tour. Here’s what she had to say about her first win.
“I can’t believe it took me seven years to win a tournament out here,” Lang said. “I hadn’t been that good under pressure and I’m getting better, and I’m so thankful that it happened this week and I’ll only get stronger from here.”
Pretty positive response don’t you think? She’s getting better, being thankful for the win and claiming that she’s only getting stronger! Now that’s a positive attitude. She sees this win as the springboard for more good things to come! I love that. It’s only about getting better for her, it’s what she has been working towards and she’s thankful that she did it.
Now for the interesting contrast. I often hear phrases such as, I Got Lucky, That Was A Fluke, I Always Hit It In The Water, I Have No Idea How I Did That, Let’s See If I Can Do It Twice In a Row, when someone hits a good shot, makes a good score on a hole, rolls in a long putt or has a low round. After all, we’ve all heard the saying, “even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while.” Well, if you are playing golf, taking lessons and practicing, you ARE working towards a good score, a great shot, a fabulous putt and a low round. And when it does happen, and it will, it is no accident. It’s not even divine intervention or blind luck. It is exactly what you wanted to have happen. So when that ball goes exactly where you intended, embrace it, give yourself a little mini fist pump and make the declaration, “I planned that shot! Yahoo for Me!” When you’re done with the celebratory dance, even if it’s in your mind, build on the success of the great shot you just made. After all, you do want to have more of them, don’t you? I imagine Brittany wants more wins now that she’s had her first. I can’t imagine she’s a one and done kind of player and besides she is only getting better and stronger according to her. Heck, it’s only been seven years, she’s just getting started and to that I say, “one in a row is a start!” So, Go Brittany, you’re on a roll now, go get yourself number two!
nice work, coach! i’m trying to keep all of these thoughts close…