Saturday, 29 August 2015

Playing Your Own Ball

I was playing a match the other day against Steve and Spiro, where I was playing their best ball.  We have a lot of fun with these matches, that include lots of good-natured teasing and trash talk.

I had about a ten footer for par on one hole and knocked it in.  Steve and Spiro had shorter par putts, but they were both longer than six feet.  I said to Steve, after making my putt, "That just made yours a little longer, Steve my son."

Steve stood over his eight footer and knocked it right in the center of the cup.  Steve looked at me and smiled, saying, "I play my ball, not yours."  Spiro then calmly made his putt for par as well.

This reminded me of the great quote from Bobby Jones, who said, "The golfer very soon is made to realize that his most immediate, and perhaps most potent, adversary is himself.  Even when confronting a human opponent, the most crucial factor is not the performance of the opposition, but the effect of this performance upon the player himself."

I thought I might have been able to rattle Steve by holing that ten footer, when he probably expected me to miss.  But, as Steve aptly pointed out, it wasn't an issue to him because he was playing his own ball.  What happened with my ball was of no account to him.  

It's easy to say that you are just playing your own ball--not being affected by your opponent's play--but it's not as easy to do.  Good on ya, Steve.