I’ve never ached so much in my whole life. I picked up some sort of bug, had a bad night and was throwing up too – I’m delighted with one-under, to be honest with you. I didn’t have the energy to get frustrated out there, so that worked well in my favour.” The words of Justin Rose after his opening round in the Volvo Masters at Valderrama.
‘I didn’t have the energy to get frustrated’. It’s not unusual for a golfer to play at their best when under the weather. Here’s why…when you feel unwell, say at a 1 or 2 out of 10 physically, then you know that you can’t push yourself. You don’t expect to play your A game. You rein in your expectations. You aim to play within yourself. So much so, that there is harmony between the game you are trying to play and the amount of energy that you have to commit to that game.
In the presence of harmony, calm, unfettered golf ensues. Simple really! Frustration occurs when the player tries to play their A game, or expects to play their A game, when they are not ready or able to do so. Either because they don’t have the mental and emotional energy that day, or are a little off form. Thus the demand they place on themselves can’t be met and they get frustrated, unable to understand why.
When the player is ill, it becomes impossible to ignore the messages the body is sending out. And the player adjusts their game accordingly. Usually the messages from the body are ignored in search of success.
So how about checking in with your mental, emotional and physical state every day…so if you are feeling at a 4/10 say, play a 4/10 game. Keep the ball straight. Rein in your distance and establish some stability. Don’t try too hard. Getting the basics right may be all you can do. But that doesn’t mean you will shoot a high score. Far from it.
Playing in harmony with your mind and body is the perfect recipe for successful golf.