Importance of Game Attitude
In 1990, I had the pleasure of caddying for Stewart Ginn who was competing against the Greg Norman (ranked world #1 at the time). After a couple practice rounds on the course, I became acquainted with Norman's caddie - the legendary Bruce Edwards.
Bruce explained Norman’s super confident approach to the game and attributed it to the way he practiced. Simply put, he was a perfectionist. Norman analyzed every shot he took and took the practice rounds seriously, even though they didn’t count for anything. His amazing work ethic motivated me to pursuit my career as a professional golfer and showed me that being the best meant putting in the work.
Norman lived up to his brazen words and opened the tournament with a scorching 63. In round 2, his opening tee shot went straight into the creek that ran along the fairway. After recovering beautifully from that shot, he hit another one into the water. It was here that I learnt what being a pro was really all about - he was unfazed by his mistakes and only focused on the next shot. He ended his second round score with an unbelievable 61. On his way to breaking various records, he ended up disqualifying himself from the tournament because it came to his attention that he took a drop from the water that did not adhere to the rules (a weird technical issue that I will explain another time).
The point of the story is this – how many of you have started a round of golf miserably, but ended up playing the best round of your life? *If you’ve been in this situation, let me know the next time you see me!
Norman’s composure in the face of adversity is what led him to his remarkable scores on both days, even after his bad shots on the first hole. That being said, keeping yourself composed and calm after bad shots on the course is incredibly difficult, especially when there are high stakes on the line. If there is anything to take away from this story, it is to take golf one shot at a time. The game isn’t much different from life. Learn from past mistakes and situations, but don’t let them affect the rest of your game. Bad shots can always be recovered and there will always be another opportunity for you to improve your score.
See you on the greens!