Golf and Your Mental Game: The Wisdom and Cowardice of Fear

Suppose you are 200 yards from the green and over the creek you must go to reach it. You will need an awesome shot. The carrot is being dangled! You are fearful if you don’t have enough distance in the creek you go. If you come in too fast and low you’ll skid off the green into the sand trap. You can look at the situation two ways. Fear has set in as you have doubts as to your ability to softly land on the green. Could this be all your experience supercomputing in your head telling you the odds are you won’t make it over the creek? Is this your golf wisdom kicking in? Or could it simply be cowardice and the unwillingness to face a challenge. I suppose it depends on your mindset. Are you a prisoner of your fear or are you wise because your past experience leans toward your inability to clear the creek? That shot may lead to your wisdom kicking in and laying up. Is this cowardice or wisdom? Make your decision and live with it. At least in this situation you felt you had a chance. Where will your mindset lead you?

On the other hand there is a situation where a slice on the tee over some very tall trees will land you on the green. But you need a spectacular and highly unlikely shot to clear those trees. In this case you realize although you enjoy the challenge the odds of making such a shot are virtually impossible so fear may be leading to wisdom. The risk is so great it could be seen as stupid trying to make such a shot

Then there is the situation where your score has tanked and you have nothing to lose by trying to make that impossible shot. Through your desperation you are going to challenge yourself and add to your golf memory bank which will be data you can rely on in the future.

All this points to the mental nature of a golf game. You are going to have to continually evaluate your skill against the risk and probabilities. Are you now seeing how much of a mental and emotional game golf can be!

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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