Legends-of-the-rangeMost Golfers are familiar with putting in range time and often playing like a superstar while practicing. The old problem is taking it to the tee box. While some average players and weekend warriors feel pressure on the first tee box with extra eyeballs watching them, people who compete in long drive events often feel the weight of the world on their shoulders when it’s time to do work. My background is in basketball and I can remember well that there were players who could light up the net during practice and warm ups and then there were the players who may not practice well but could perform under the lights with the world watching. The ability to perform is learned and not purchased. The more a person can put themselves in pressure situations, the more they will feel that they can perform. Greatness can come by chance but can only be sustained through mental toughness. I’ve often joked with our friends at long drive events about taking a couple of buckets of range balls and placing them on the tee box so that they will feel comfortable just like the range area. The true champions are the one’s who become fearless through the process of gaining experience. Even the greatest athletes on the planet experience nervous energy and anxiety when it comes time to step on the stage but they have learned to use it to their advantage. I competed in a National Golf tournament at Pinehurst. It was a 3 day event and it was like stepping into a pressure cooker. I remember meeting Chris Dimarco as we went to the first tee. I grabbed my driver and as I walked to the tee box, Chris was still watching, a small crowd had gathered around and a lady grabbed a microphone and announced my name. I became so nervous that I had to walk back over and grab a hybrid for the first shot. Later in the round, the Golf Channel rolled up and began to film a very short put that I was standing over. The cameraman ended up about 10 feet away and laying on the green as I putted the ball. The ball never touched the hole and I told the camera guy that he could go somewhere else now please. The final day of the tournament, we were placed on the clock by a PGA rules official as we finished up on a par 4. The next hole was a par 3 and was 185 yards. I remember asking the caddie for the yardage, grabbing a club and sprinting to the next hole. The nerves were gone, they had turned to adrenaline and I hit the shot about 8 feet from the hole and then made the putt. I threw my putter down and yelled…”put me on the clock again”! Until a person can defeat the demons of public performance with a healthy dose of adrenaline, they will find it nearly impossible to find success. Work hard, train hard and put yourself in pressure situations and you’ll find the winds of fortune blowing in your favor.

MobyMatt / Shark Attack Golf