The Stoic mindset is a perfect match for golf. This is because in golf you really have to suck it up and move on. The rules of golf are stringent and exacting. No real golfer cheats at golf. Exhibit A – Donald Trump. We all have to deal with the bad breaks and challenging stuff golf throws our way. This is why golf becomes such a mental game demanding of us resilience and composure under pressure. We have all seen playing partners break down and lose their rag under the strain of nearly 5 hours of unrelenting grind. Most of us have fallen foul of this ourselves at one time or another. However, we live in an age of complaint. A time where everybody wants everything to be soft and easy. The modern world is like this. Golf is not like this – it is an outlier from another time. An old game invented when life was harder and more demanding. This is why Stoicism is tough to do, despite the fact that it makes a lot of sense.
Stoicism Takes Practice & Commitment
In this day and age, the natural thing to do when things don’t go your way is to whinge and complain like a baby. When we don’t get the outcome we desire, we look around to see who we can blame. When things are not easy and convenient, we get upset. Golf throws up a lot of episodes of this nature during the average round. Many golfers spend large chunks of their round emoting like mad about stuff that did not go their way. Angry and frustrated golfers are legion out on the course during competitive rounds of golf.
But Stoicism is tough to do in the modern age.
Stoics Stand Tall Under Pressure
It takes a lot of mental practice to develop a Stoic mindset capable of remaining calm under pressure and in the face of rank disappointment. Deep breathing can help at these times and some positive visualisation too. Staying in the moment is another helpful mental strategy. We must remain committed to our intention in golf if we are to achieve the desired outcome of victory.
Stoics stand tall no matter the shit that comes their way. They don’t buckle under disappointment or rage madly in despair at missed opportunities.
Developing a Stoic mindset will equip the competing golfer with the patience and resilience necessary to get the job done. It won’t be easy; however, it takes real practice.
Play it as it lies! Acceptance: Stoicism advocates accepting everything that happens, including both good and bad, as a natural part of life. The fundamental credo in golf is – ‘play it as it lies.’ Therefore, stop wasting time and energy complaining about stuff. Accept what you cannot change and make the best of it. Stoics rise above their circumstances via their character and commitment to virtuousness. The power is within and not from without. Only victims give away their power to outside agencies. Tranquility and inner peace are available once you have regained control of your emotional responses to events in your life. Resilience comes to those who grasp this mantle in their lives.
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There is a bunch of practical information in the book to assist golfers of all levels in their quest to master the mental game of golf.