Did you hear PGA Tour player Ryan Moore publicly blast the US Open and Pebble Beach?
How about the quotes from Gregory Havret, who barely made it into the field and then finished just one stroke behind the winner?
I think these statements say a lot about their personalities, which, in turn, had a big effect on their performance.
Here’s what each of them said, how you can tell which type of player you are, and if your “golf personality” is helping or hurting your game and your enjoyment of golf vacations.
First, let’s take a look at an excerpt from what I understand was an eight-minute tirade by Ryan Moore, who was extremely unhappy with the way the USGA set up Pebble Beach Golf Links for the US Open.
“I don’t understand why you’d have a tournament that doesn’t reward good golf shots.”
And about the 17th hole in particular, he said:
“It’s completely unreasonable, it’s just a horrible golf hole, the way they set it up.”
Even eventual winner Graeme McDowell said the hole was, “borderline unfair.”
Unfair to whom, guys? The dozens of other pros playing the exact same hole?
Moore finished tied for 33rd.
Now, let’s see what Frenchman Gregory Havret said:
“This course is really hard, and mistakes are coming really quick. So, I was just doing my things, avoiding mistakes as much as possible. And then tried to take the opportunities to make birdies sometimes, to make a difference.”
When asked about his mood the morning of the final round (in which he was paired with Tiger Woods), he said\:
“I slept beautifully. I woke up this morning very nicely, happy to play golf at a beautiful site with the best player in the world.”
Havret finished second.
Do you think each man’s attitude affected his performance?
I do, and I’ll bet your personality influences your game and golf vacations, too.
For example, let’s say you’re playing a course for the first time.
Do you get upset or angry if it isn’t absolutely clear which way the hole goes or how you’re “supposed to play it,” or are you satisfied doing the best you can with the information available?
When a light rain starts falling, does it totally throw you off, or do you enjoy the challenge of adjusting your game to suit the conditions?
If you answered “yes” to the first part of each question, you might be a Ryan Moore-type player (in terms of personality). If the second part of each question sounds like you, your outlook is probably more like Gregory Havret’s.
I don’t want to sound preachy, but I’d argue that you’ll enjoy golf and your golf vacations more (and you’ll probably play better, too) if you take the Havret approach.
That is, just play the golf course, not your opponent or your own best score. Do the best that you can do on that day, under those conditions, with the information available.
The reality is, you can’t control anything else, and getting angry about it is only going to distract you from the most important shot in golf — the one you’re about to hit.
So, be honest: are you Ryan Moore or Gregory Havret?
And here’s an extra credit question: Do you think the USGA set up Pebble Beach to reward luck rather than skill, as Ryan Moore suggested?
Please share your comments below.
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