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Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Patience

Patience is a virtue; in golf and in life.  How often don't you hear the third round leader tell the interviewer that he's going to try to be patient when playing the final round.  It's very important.

I remember a poster from my youth that showed two buzzards sitting in a tree.  The one was saying to the other, "Patience, my ass.  I just wanna kill something."  That relates to golf.  You have to be patient.  You can't force things to happen.  If you try to recover a lost shot or two by trying to hit high risk shots, you are more likely to crash and burn than make birdies.

Jack Nicklaus was perhaps the most patient player of all time.  He never panicked.  I'm told he started every round playing within himself until he found his groove.  Once he was in the groove, how often didn't he make that classic Nicklaus charge to victory.  

Lydia Ko was a study in patience last week, winning in Canada, despite not having her best stuff in the final round.  That's what got me thinking about patience.  Most of us have to learn to be patient.  Bobby Jones talked about learning not to rely on a series of brilliant sallies to win; relying instead on playing within himself.  It took him seven years to really learn it.  After he did, he was about as dominant a player as we've ever seen.  Lydia seems to have learned that lesson much easier, or at least much sooner.

I'm finally learning to be a bit more patient.  I've found that a bad start doesn't mean a bad round, if you exercise a bit of patience, don't panic, and keep your composure.  Golf is played one shot at a time, but it's an eighteen hole marathon, not a sprint.   So, I try not to be that buzzard.  Patience is definitely a virtue, and good things, including birdies, often come to those who wait.