It's Masters Week
Well, the 2012 golf season officially gets underway for many, as this is Masters Week. And this one might have more drama surrounding it than in many years. Is Tiger really back? Is Rory fully recovered and ready to atone for last year’s meltdown? Is Ernie Els really going to watch on TV? Where does Phil fit into the mix? Is Luke Donald ready for his first major?
It’s always been said that the Masters begins on the back nine on Sunday, but this one seems to have already begun, according to the volume of news stories and opinions on the subject. Tiger and Rory go in with a lot of expectations, and those can play havoc with one’s psyche -- even players as talented and skilled as those two. The golf mind is fragile, and no matter what skill level you achieve, it can go haywire on you.
Was it Rory’s swing that broke down last year? No.
Was it David Duval’s swing that broke down a while back? No.
Was it Ian Baker-Finch’s swing that disappeared? No.
All these guys have the skills to play golf at the highest level . . . all the time. What changes from week to week, round to round, hole to hole and even shot to shot . . . is your mental make-up. That applies to all of us. Some days we “have it”, other days we don’t. In the wonderful book, “Golf In The Kingdom”, one passage dives into the concept that “it takes perfect balance to play your best golf.” The character was talking about balance in your life and your mind, your emotion and your overall well-being. If you are in a “good place” with all that’s going on in your world, this game is much easier.
You play better with good friends than with people you are not so fond of, or strangers. You play better when the competition is to your level of comfort, not too much or too little. You play better when things are good at home and work.
And that all applies to these guys, just like it does to us.
So, it’s Masters Week, and one of the very few where I will actually make time to park in front of the TV for a few hours, especially on Sunday afternoon. Let’s hope the “actors” get their scripts down right and give us the show we are expecting . . . and hoping for!
My bet is that Tiger, Rory and Phil will definitely rise to the occasion and be there on Sunday afternoon. But also that one or more of the many talented players in the field that we might not think about going in, will get in his own “right place” and be right in the mix with them. I don’t think there is a guy going in who doesn’t have the game to win if he can just get in the zone.
But my favorite this week? I’m pulling for Luke Donald. I like the way he plays the game with precision and a wonderful short game earned through hard work. And it wasn’t but a few years ago that Zack Johnson proved you can win at Augusta by taming the par 5s with your wedges, rather than your driver.
It should prove fun to watch.
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