Thoughtful Thursday – A to Z of playing golf – ATTITUDE

In my last blog, I started my A to Z of words and concepts which I believe will be helpful in your quest to make playing golf a more enjoyable and rewarding experience.

To follow on from my first piece on “ATTENTION”, I thought it would be appropriate to say a few words on “ATTITUDE”.

We have all played with and perhaps on the odd occasion, been “that” golfer with a really bad attitude. Not just to the game but to life in general.

“A bad attitude is like a flat tyre. You can’t go anywhere or make any progress until you fix it.”

I’m not going to go down the predictable line of attacking everything you do in life with a PMA, positive mental attitude, although that would be preferable to one that stinks!

While positive thinking sounds like a great idea in theory, the reality is that it can and will let you down. “I”m going to play great today. I’m going to hit every fairway and green and hole every single putt I look at!” Fantastic in theory but when did that last happen? Correct, never!

As a direct result, positive thinking goes out the window and is replaced immediately by it’s polar opposite, negative thinking. There is no grey area, no middle ground where you can be a little bit positive. That is like being a little bit pregnant, it just doesn’t work like that.

Thinking positively is hard to do when you fire your opening tee shot out of bounds and three putt the 1st hole for a nine. Your day is ruined and your attitude for the remaining 17 holes is dreadful.

Our attitude to whatever we choose to do is greatly influenced by the questions we ask ourselves. You are probably blissfully unaware of this but golfers tend to ask really, really bad questions. “

“Why do I always hit it OB / top it / slice it / hook it off this tee?”

“Why do I always three putt this green / duff my pitch shots into rather than over the bunker then thin the resultant bunker shot?”

“Why are the greens so slow / fast / full of pitch marks / bumpy? They’re not like that on TV!”

I could go on but I’m sure you get my drift here. If you start looking for bad things, you will find them. Look around you and try to find fault with the decor or environment you are in. Once you start looking, chances are you will start to find things that really annoy or frustrate you. How’s your positive attitude doing now?

Rather than asking negative questions, which tend to lead to negative answers, or enforcing a false positive attitude on yourself, try asking more positive questions.

Is it possible I could have a great day on the course, at work or with my family today? Yes!

Is it possible I could hit the fairway / green and hole the putt for a birdie? Absolutely! Within reason of course.

Is it possible I could appreciate all the hard work the Greenkeepers and clubhouse staff put in to provide us all with an enjoyable experience on the golf course? Yes!

Is it possible that by asking better questions, you might just play better golf and smile a bit more in the process? Yes!

Is it possible that by asking better questions your attitude towards golf or whatever you choose to do at any given moment in time could be beneficial not only to you but to those around you? Yes!

Give it a try, you never know how much more you might get out of yourself today, tomorrow and in the future.

Until next time.

All the best,
Gary Nicol.