Freedom from fear

A number of years ago now I attended a seminar in Phoenix, AZ, around the Intelligence of Play. One of the speakers was a guy named James Durlacher. If I am not completely mistaking, one of his books is called ‘Freedom from fear forever’. As my journeys this summer have taken me to the Amateur Championship, the European Championship, the Open and now the English Challenge at Stoke by Nayland I come to think about this phrase again – Freedom from fear. I wonder how many golfers can hit their shots without fear and I wonder how much of a difference it would make if they could?

What I see in many of these young golfers I am afraid is a lot of fear. And it does not seem to get any better as they get older. In fact it is the other way around. I guess when money is tight, you have a mortgage to pay and wife and two kids waiting at home, it is not the best formula to be free from fear on the golf course. I have seen one player this summer though who seems to be able to do it. An Italian player in the team that England played in the semi-final of the European Championships. Nino Bertasio probably hasn’t yet got a mortgage to pay but he has the shortgame of a magician and for now that appears to be enough. In all honesty I have never seen anything like it but I would imagine that Seve at his best was something similar. If you are confident that you can get it up and down from just about any position around the green, including the famous ball washer, then I do not think there is that much to worry about. Seve’s perhaps most famous shot came from a parking lot in the Open and he hit that with the same level of confidence as I see Nino play his shots with at Österåkers Golf Club some 30 years later. Not since those days of Seve have I seen a player that so obviously expects to hole it everytime he is in a bunker. Nino will soon be on a tour somewhere and it will be incredibly interesting to follow what that does to him!

1 Response to “Freedom from fear”

  1. 1 jon adler July 22, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Fantastic blog Peter and I agree with you totally about the Fear. When I was working on the Tour a few years back it was everywhere and it spread through to the Caddies too, fearful of losing their jobs etc. Everywhere fear, often hidden by a big persona(ego) to project a false aura of confidence.
    My work coaching golfers in the Art of Concentration centres on two things. Awareness and Equanimty and deals with this issue of Fear in a practical way. If you are interested I could show you.
    Best wishes and keep up the good blogging,
    Jon Adler

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