Throwing in the towel not the answer but finding a happy medium can lead to success
Finding the right level of intensity is a quest common to all top golfers
Adam Scott, of Australia, holds the trophy after winning The Barclays golf tournament on Sunday, Aug. 25, 2013, in Jersey City, N.J. (AP Photo/Rich Schultz)
Last week’s winner of the first of the Fed Ex Cup play-off events, the Barclays, made a telling comment about his winning round that is both enlightening and confusing.
Adam Scott said that he thought his tournament was over on the 13th hole of his final round as nothing was really happening for him. In other words he wasn’t holing any putts. Like most players he had endured a marathon couple of days on Thursday and Friday with the weather delay and was feeling the effects of fatigue.
I had come back on the same ferry with him to Manhattan on Thursday night. Despite the stunning backdrop of the lower Manhattan skyline, lit up for the night and the illuminated Statue of Liberty glowing as we passed by her on the last ferry to Battery Park, we were all tired and aware that we were going to have to be up soon for the first ferry back at 5.30 the next morning.
The captain decided to give us an extra couple of minutes to savour the sights of the statue much to the chagrin of the grumpy passengers. It was just one of those weeks where if you were on the wrong side of the draw, like Adam Scott was, you could easily be forgiven for taking a nonchalant attitude in the end.
Foot off accelerator
So what happened to Adam when he took his foot off the accelerator and decided to cruise home on Sunday last?
He ended up making two birdies. With talented players it is often the case that as soon as you ease off the pressure things start falling into place for you on the golf course. I have seen it on numerous occasions with players desperately trying to make a cut. As soon as they “give up” they actually start to play better.
So is that the new way forward, give up? Of course it isn’t but the art of playing good golf is about trying to the optimum degree to enhance performance. What that is, or trying to find this mysterious level can be an elusive life-time mission for many players.
Those talented players who master it of course win more often. If you don’t really care how you play the intensity is non-existent, if you care too much all day every day the intensity is too high for too long and ultimately too draining.
Adam obviously found his optimum level of concentration after he inwardly admitted that the last round at Liberty National was not going well enough for him to post a winning score. As soon as he released that pressure from himself he played better.