Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Lee Westwood’

We’ve all felt it. A tightening of the muscles around the neck. A lump in the throat. A rising of blood to the forehead. A quickening heartbeat. Sweaty palms. In golf, it’s particularly troublesome, we are told. It’s a game that requires precision timing and coordination. It requires being in the moment, dealing only with the matter at hand, namely wielding an unwieldy metal club, attempting to hit a small white dimpled ball to a target over 300 yards away. Any tightening, sweating, beating, or blood rising beyond the norm will truncate that process and dynamite any chance for success. We feel it elsewhere too, like at work when the our supervisor comes by and asks to have a “word with you,” or when a cop pulls us over, or when our spouse “needs to talk.” Pressure greets us almost daily with its bared teeth and a scowl. An overdue phone bill. Noisy neighbors that need quieting. Humans have always known it. We have much experience dealing with it, yet it’s as difficult to handle now as it was in the caves of France thousands of years ago.

In golf, no tournament is as pressure packed as a match play event, like the one being played this week in the Arizona desert. Every hole is as pressure packed as the last, and the last may well be your last before your flight home. How do these guys handle it? How do they maintain their level of concentration? How do they keep their swings from crumbling (more…)

Read Full Post »

First, congratulations to Phil Mickelson on winning the Masters. He showed true grit coming down the stretch, a champion’s disposition, the heart of a samurai, a deep meditator without even knowing he was meditating, focused and flexible, a Light Brigade in the form of a golfer. I had advised in a previous post that he go home and be with his wife, that she was too much on his mind to concentrate on golf. I was wrong. Instead, he dedicated his performance to his wife, thereby remaining a man fully in the moment, for the moment was a representation of her and his family. And she came to him, which I didn’t anticipate since I didn’t know her ability to do so. It was one of the great inspirational performances in the history of sport. His approach shot through the trees on 13 from the pine straw, over Rae’s Creek, hitting the green and making birdie was a golfer acting at the very highest levels of skill and courage. I would include it with the best of any shot I’ve ever seen, and will heretofore use it as a model for all the golf I have left to play. Phil, his caddie, Bones, and his wife Amy are true class acts.

Next, Tiger. He impressed me with his golf, of course, but also with his humanness: his connection with the fans, his giving out autographs, his warm relationship with K.J. Choi whom he chatted with and put his hand on his shoulder, his relative restraint around fist pumps and profanity. There’s no quit to this guy, and that too is a trait I highly admire. Given the scandal, (more…)

Read Full Post »