What it takes…

Wednesday and generally a bit of an “off” day in the competitive golf community. On tour this day is reserved for those that make the party possible – the sponsors – who all compete and enjoy themselves in the Pro-Am. For the players that is probably not the most productive day as I am sure they would rather be preparing and practicing. At the same time they are very well aware that if it was not for this day their pay checks would look very different. The amateur schedule nowadays is not very different from the professional one. Big amateur events tend to be played Thursday to Sunday or perhaps Friday to Sunday with a 36 hole final on the last day. The times of working a full week to then be able to compete on the weekend are more or less gone.

On a Wednesday like this I take a bit of time to look through the results of the recent tournaments. Two names stand out: Luke Donald (great diary if you click the link!) and Andy Sullivan. Luke had not won in a while and he has been through a bit of a difficult period with an injury that took longer than expected to come back from. Today he is playing the Pro-Am in Wales having come fresh off a great win in Madrid and an excellent second finish at Wentworth. Andy Sullivan is the player who seems to be winning everything, with a margin, in and around the Midlands. In more nation wide events he has, so far, found it a bit more difficult. Perhaps winning the Lagonda is a step in the right direction that might open the gates for him?

The question of what it takes to win is one of those discussions that can and will go on forever. I think it is something that needs practice just like driving, chipping and putting. Very often we hear things like “he can’t close a match” or “he bottled it down the last” but way too seldom do we really go into the kind of practice we could do to stop this from happening. Pressure is difficult to create or simulate but a little pressure is better than no pressure so there is every reason to try. When I grew up the competitions for ice-cream around the putting green at the golf club were just as important and full of pressure as any real competition. We need more of that stuff and we need players and coaches that are creative enough to come up with exciting and challenging activities!

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