The snowy conditions have gone but that's not the meltdown I'm referring to. This one happened in Saudi where's there's no snow and not sure there ever has been.
I wasn't planning on writing on this topic but I felt compelled to after a couple of recent events in the Middle East.
Lee Westwood, has been a top class golfer for many years, but the last few have been a little testing at times. He missed the cut last year at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic but managed to finish 7th this time around and was interviewed during the tournament in January by a reporter asking about his approach to golf now as he has his girlfriend on the bag with him.
The reporter seemed quite taken aback when Westwood told him “I’ve given up caring”.
That may seem totally bizarre to many, for a world class golfer to be heading into tournaments with that sort of attitude, but sometimes we have to take a step back and look at things from a different perspective in order to become more effective and enjoy the game more.
On the flip side, we’ve seen another of the world’s top golfer’s being disqualified from a tournament recently for serious breach of conduct.
Sergio Garcia has apologised for his behaviour and also to the group of golfers behind him, for the damage he did to the greens through what could only be described as frustration.
We know golf is a challenging game, and as I’ve mentioned before, the further up the ladder you go, the more challenging it is with the pressure of expectation.
However, this is not Sergio’s first high-profile tournament. Far from it. What happened to that care-free leaping teenager that was looking to take on the world and have fun along the way?
Usually getting married and having a child has a calming effect on people as they tend to view their priorities somewhat differently and don’t view golf as a matter of life and death.
What prompted this outburst is yet to be discovered. It may well just be not reaching his own high expectation level and let himself down in more way than one.
However, I don’t believe Westwood’s attitude is as cavalier as it may first appear. Having a “caring too much attitude” can affect our ability to think straight, control our emotions and ultimately our golf suffers.
What he was really referring to was caring where his ball went. As I’ve covered in other posts, we can only control so much on the golf course and indeed we control the ball far less than we imagine. Once it’s left the club face, it’s no longer in our control where it finishes.
Not caring simply means we are less reactive to the situation and are in greater control of ourselves and our emotions.
By doing this, we free ourselves up to play more freely and allow our natural game to flow, instead of letting our emotions run the show and ultimately run the risk of having a meltdown at some point.
It can be a fine line and like anything, it takes time and effort, but Westwood has proved it can be done, even at the highest level.
Try it on your next round and see if it frees you up to play a more relaxed and enjoyable round and not get sucked into a meltdown.
If you want to know more about improving your mental game, get a copy of my 7 Keys to Improve Your Mental Game by clicking here
To your success.
Performance Coach & Trainer at Golfing minds