Are You Finding The Funny

By David BreslowMay 5, 2004, 4:00 pm
For many golfers, golf is a serious game. Golf is also a game that many people say they play for fun too isnt it? Isnt it interesting how many players approach their round of golf with the attitude that they are going to have a good time because they are spending time with friends and taking advantage of being outside on a beautiful day.
 
As the round progresses however, and things dont go their way something changes. This golfer may now become a bit frustrated over missing some short putts or putting drives off the fairway. Frustration may turn into anger and even more poor play and at some pointthose clubs might just get the old heave ho!
 
Okmaybe a bit on the dramatic side but it is true that a well intended round of golf can turn into a not so good time cant it? When this happens weve LOST the funny instead of looking to FIND the funny.
 
One of the things I invite players to think about and practice is to find the funny. As funny as this may sound; it can make a big difference in your game. There are some real benefits to finding the funny and they are:
  1. Improve your emotional state

  2. Re-direct the focus of your mind

  3. Put things back into perspective

  4. Relax your physical body

Not bad for doing a simple thing like finding the funny is it?
 
Finding the funny is a choice you make before you play the round. When I was the Director Of Mental Toughness at the National Tennis Center in New York, I was present during the U.S. Open one of tennis four grand slam events. I remember the athletes from Australia were some of the most relaxed players who knew how to compete AND put things into perspective. Their attitude of I did my best; now lets forget it and go out and have a good time stood out heads and shoulders amongst the throng of players from all over the globe who participated in this annual event.
 
These players were able to find the funny for themselves. They had three important keys working in their favor. These keys are to remember to:
 
Stop taking yourself TOO seriously
You are human and you will make mistakes. You will hit poor shots and you will miss easy putts. Amateurs put themselves under unreasonable pressures and expectations about being perfect that even the pros wouldnt go for! Taking yourself too seriously creates tension in the body and also creates a hair-trigger emotional state that over reacts to situations
 
Laugh At Yourself
This can be difficult for some of us. If we take ourselves too seriously there is a tendency NOT to find ourselves, or what we do to be funny either. Great players laugh at themselves why cant you? Can you laugh at yourself when you make an error? Can you see the humor in how you look and act? Can you laugh at a bad bounce or bad break on the course? You always have a choiceyou can resist and fight reality or you can laugh at yourself, regroup and move on. Try itit will take the pressure off!
 
See The Bigger Picture
One of the things I liked about the Australian players is that they kept things in perspective quite well. Nothing was the end of the world to them. They knew there would be another shot, another tournament and another day. This does not mean they didnt take their performance seriously. They did. They worked as hard on their games as anyone else AND they also knew where to leave it alone. Play hard. Give everything you have and when its doneits done. Narrow perspective causes the body and emotions to tense up and overreact. Keeping the bigger perspective in mind creates more relaxation and allows you to feel free to go for it more often.
 
Find ways to find the funny when you play and you can take the pressure off and not only enjoy your round but perform more relaxed and free!! Good Luck!
 
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    Rahm (62) fires career low round

    By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

    The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

    Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

    What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

    Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

    Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

    Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

    Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

    Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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    Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

    Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

    "Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

    Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.


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    Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

    "That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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    Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

    By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

    There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

    Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

    Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

    Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.

    @tommyfleetwood_1

    A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

    The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

    It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.

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    Mickelson starts fast, fades to 70 at La Quinta

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:07 pm

    Phil Mickelson got off to a fast start in his first competitive round of 2018 - for six holes, at least.

    The 47-year-old is making his first start since the WGC-HSBC Champions this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge, and only his third competitive appearance since the BMW Championship in September. Four birdies over his first six holes indicated that a strong opener might be in the cards, but Mickelson played his subsequent holes in 2 over.

    It added up to a 2-under 70 at La Quinta Country Club, typically the easiest of the three courses in rotation this week, and left Mickelson eight shots behind Jon Rahm.

    "It was fun to get back out and be competitive," Mickelson told reporters. "I for some reason am stuck on 70 here at La Quinta, whether I get off to a good start or a bad one, I end up shooting the same score."


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    Mickelson stunted his momentum with a tee shot out of bounds on the par-4 eighth hole, but he managed to save bogey and otherwise drove the ball relatively well. Instead, he pointed to his normally reliable iron play as the culprit for his back-nine backslide on a day when more than 120 players in the 156-man field broke par.

    Mickelson will now head to the Nicklaus Tournament Course with the Stadium Course on tap for Saturday's third round. While there were several low scores Thursday at La Quinta, Mickelson remains bullish about the birdie opportunities that still lie ahead.

    "This isn't the course where I go low on," Mickelson said. "I feel more comfortable on Stadium and Nicklaus. Neither of them are nearly as tight and I tend to score a lot lower on those other two than I do here, historically."