56th North Carolina Amateur Championship
For the most part this year I’ve played well. Except for the occasional stretch of below average golf, my results have been pretty decent. This year has been one of making ugly golf work. Getting good results even when I don’t have my stuff. But in the North Carolina Amateur I had nothing. Not one part of my game was good. Sometimes I can balance a bad part of my game with good parts, but not this time.
The thing is, when I play well, I may get more comfortable with playing under pressure, but the adversity of playing bad brings up so many more emotions. I think we can all agree negative emotions are so much stronger than positive emotions. Positive emotions might make you feel better, but negative emotions actually make you want to change things. For some people failure means going backwards or making them want to quit. But failing can also kick you into gear to improve.
I would argue that there’s no other sport where you lose as often as you do in golf. I don’t know how many tournaments I’ve played in my life. It has to be hundreds. But I can count on two hands how many times I’ve won. It’s just how the game is. Yes I’d rather win. But man do I love the learning process of losing. I love responding to losing with persistence and patience. I’m a big fan of Gary Vaynerchuk. Look him up. I heard him say “You could punch me in the face 8,000 times. I’m here to get punched.” That’s exactly how I feel.
When I have failed, at least so far, my response has always been to improve. That’s all I’ve ever done. And that’s my response this time again. It might hurt. It might be depressing. It might cause bad thoughts to creep up. But I refuse to quit.
I love getting punched. Because I love the look on their face when I get back up.