Today I was playing golf and I entered that pyschological black-hole, the golfers’ “death-trap”. It was a competition, and playing with my dad, I wanted to play well. I was eager to impress and also optimistic as I had been playing well recently. Funnily enough, the ‘shots’ never came and the more badly I played, the more it became harder to hit anything of merit at all.
For a non-golfer, this all might sound crazy- but I hit a new kind of low, that why should I bother/I hate life/please let this end quickly. Overdramatic perhaps, but I just felt an ugly mix of anger, disappointment, embarrassment and a still burning drive, believe it or not, to win or at the very least, make a decent strike. My best memories of the game, were a few average putts and my practice shots on the driving range earlier (frustratingly good). However now, warm, fed and post a relaxing bath, I can view the game in a different light. It wasn’t me “playing badly”, it was the game of golf outplaying me. My mind dragging me down, McIroy at the US Masters style. I therefore can view this as an opportunity to get round this (cheesy though this sounds) and bring back the positivity. Feel the force if you like. After a few internet searches, I therefore came across sufficient material- a poem, by the wonderfully named Walter Wintle, that I believe encourages anyone to not get beaten, to try harder no matter what. I only now wish that I had it with me on the 15th hole…
If You Think You are Beaten
Walter D. Wintle
If you think you are beaten, you are.
If you think you dare not, you don’t.
If you’d like to win but think you can’t,
It’s almost certain you won’t.
Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man,
But sooner or later, the man who wins
Is the man who thinks he can.