I have to say, one of the biggest takeaways from watching the Wegman’s LPGA Championship was the fact that it’s never over until it’s over was the theme. The delays, the exchange of leads throughout the final round, the missed shots, fat shots, great shots and everything in between found me glued to the set! You had Matthew in the club house not really expecting to stick around for a playoff, Pressel grinding it out, hitting a tree on one hole and draining a putt on the next all the while charging up the leader board. Then there was Park, who’s steady even keel play started to falter towards the end. She missed fairways, missed a putt here and there, hit a fat shot or two out of the rough then hit another from the rough and across to the rough on the other side. It was incredible to watch! Who was going to win was the big question.
Everyone was tired, it had been a grueling day, but no one gave up. If they hit a bad shot, they did their best to move on. They didn’t throw in the towel because the shot wasn’t ideal or what they had planned. They did their best to take it one shot at a time.
We should take a page out of the book on this tournament. The players did a great job of staying the course through the good shots and the bad. The pros do this extremely well. They move on and do their best on each and every shot. Do they get frustrated with an errant shot…sure they do, they’re human. However, they do a great job of moving on and dealing with the shot at hand. The idea that a bad shot means that the round is ruined or their chances of putting up a good number is over, is never a part of their thought process. It is just a shot that happened and now it’s over…time to move on to the next shot…wherever that may be. It’s the perfect example of “you can’t do anything about the past.” You can’t change it and to dwell on it, will only negatively effect your performance on the next shot.
I so often see golfers dwelling on the shot they hit in the hazard or the rough or the trees. They easily move into “now my round is ruined” or “just give me my max” rather than moving beyond the errant shot. They carry the negative energy of the bad shot over to the next shot or even the next few holes. They are thinking about the bad shot and their self talk is all about the past shot and the perceived negative implication it has. “If I hadn’t hit it in the hazard, this could have been a good round”, “I always hit a slice off the tee”….and it can go on. If this is the first hole, you’re in for a long day.
No one wants to hit a shot in the trees. In fact, you’re doing your best to hit it where you want it to go…but things happen. As Bob Rotella’s famous book entitled, “Golf Is Not A Game of Perfect” states…it is not a game of perfect. If we shift our thinking to that of the pros and understand that “shots happen” and every shot you have is another opportunity for success, then you will ultimately perform better and have a better time playing! It sounds simple, but it’s true. You are what you think. If shots in the rough or the woods start your mind down the path of negativity, then you will arrive exactly where you’re thinking you will. As Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.”
Let’s take a page out of the Wegman’s LPGA Championship…it’s never over till it’s over and never ever throw in the towel!