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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Arnold Palmer Talks About Attitude

I think Arnold Palmer was a pretty fair player in his day, don't you? So when "The King" talks about what it takes to win, I want to hear what he says.

Back in 1970, Palmer wrote a book called Situation Golf. It was a book with diagrams of 9 different golf holes... and Arnie "played" each of the holes as three different players: a 7- to 12-handicap, a 12- to 18-handicap, and an 18+ handicapper. He showed how each player should approach the holes, based on each's individual strengths and weaknesses. And in the introduction he said:
...One thing I do know is that what separates the great players from the good players or the 15-handicap player from the 20-handicapper is often not so much ability as a whole host of factors which have to do with brainpower and emotional equilibrium.

I can tell you this: once the fundamentals of golf are mastered, about 90 percent of the game depends on judgment and attitude. On the pro tournament level, I'm inclined to raise the figure to 95 percent. (p.3)
How often do you get down on yourself after a bad run of holes? How often have you asked yourself, "Why did I do that?" when you know good and well it was just because you were frustrated? And why were you frustrated?

Because you let the bad shots get to you. And Arnie says that's the difference between good players and bad players. "Emotional equilibrium," he called it.

If you want to improve your game, one of the quickest ways is to improve the shots you haven't hit yet.

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