Masters Provides Plenty of Positive Golf Ideas
There were a few other mental golf ideas that stood out for me when watching the Masters coverage, including:
1. The incredible value of the mental skill of persistence, displayed quite notably by Charl Schwartzel, and also by Adam Scott and Jason Day. We heard about Schwartzel's persistence in his practice and preparation for the Masters and then we observed his persistence in action as he played with a quiet calmness, confidence, and consistency. He "stayed the course," so to speak, and persisted in his mental and physical approach to the game in the midst of intense pressure. The same can be said for Scott and Day, who both displayed admirable persistence to the very end.
2. The importance of "playing your own game" and not allowing yourself to be distracted by common beliefs like "it's a game for 'the kids'." There was a lot of talk about the younger players prevailing, with implications that they would dominate and "older" players would be surpassed. It was interesting how some of the "older" players, like Couples, Choi, and Woods stayed strong and "in the mix." While they each likely have some thoughts about age, they do not appear to have allowed it to dominate their mindsets to the extent that they are convinced they can't play as well as the younger players. The challenges experienced by McIlroy on the last day are a prime example that being a young player who can hit it a mile does not guarantee you will win. It is a blend of mental and physical skills that are applied persistently and consistently through thick and thin to the very end, whatever your "calendar age," that really makes the difference.
3. You've heard it said that it really helps when you allow yourself to enjoy the game, and I thought this was perfectly illustrated by Adam Scott and Jason Day. Each of them expressed afterward on Sunday how much they had truly enjoyed playing that day, and it showed in their respective games. It's really true that the sense of enjoyment helps to establish a positive, productive mental atmosphere that fosters the growth of additional positive mental attitudes and contributes to more relaxation and flow.
All in all, this year's Masters was a great celebration of golf and an inspiring display of physical and mental skills. The great thing is, the ideas and lessons gleaned from watching the coverage are skills that any player at any level can put to use to enrich and improve their own game.
Here's to great golf!