“PRIDE GOETH BEFORE A FALL” – Proverbs 16:18
Have you ever noticed that your scores are lower when you play a round of golf by yourself in the evening? It’s no anomaly. It’s true of my game as well. When no one’s looking, you’re relaxed, you’re confident – you’re playing with house money. It’s like singing in the shower. Everyone’s Steve Perry in the shower!
So, if you’ve got a problem belting “Don’t Stop Believin’” in public, or you struggle to play your best with your Sunday foursome, something’s getting in the way. Pride. Whether you’re Tiger Woods or a 20-handicaper, a round of golf is a performance – your game and your reputation are on stage for all to see (especially on that first tee box). The key to playing great golf is to swallow your pride and play like no one is watching.
Many golfers allow their pride to get in the way on certain shots, like, say, teeing off with a driver when a five wood is the play. Another example is selecting an iron because you’re afraid to embarrass yourself by slicing the big dog O.B. If any of these insecure club selections apply – swallow your pride and GET HELP!
Pride may also come into play on a par 3 or a fairway approach. For example – you see a long hitter use an eight iron on a par 3, so you try to match him. Nothing can be more detrimental than trying to swing 110%. Over-swinging is largely an ego problem. If you have your ego under control, you’ll be able to select the proper club, and control your swing. Whenever I find myself between clubs, I check my pride, select the longer of the two, choke up, and swing a smooth 80%. In turn, I’ve gained much more confidence and accuracy – and my scores have dropped.
When you’re out on the golf course, confidence is key; pride is the killer. If you find your pride dictating what you do, swallow it. Never be ashamed of playing smart. There is little reward for there for the golfer who hits it the farthest, or the guy who looks the best. Go out there, check your ego, check your pride, tune out what the other guy is doing, and beat the course with your game.