The Attitude of a "Player"
During my years at the University of Houston, a few of the guys on the team would often hang out in the evenings and talk about various things related to the game. Among the topics we discussed was what Coach Dave Williams meant when he referred to someone as a "player."
Since The University of Houston won 16 National Championships during Coach's tenure and the list of PGA Tour members who played at Houston over the years is so impressive, Coach Williams was an icon in the world of college golf. When Coach would call someone a "player," the word had a special meaning to us -- as if its use bestowed upon that person an elite status reserved for only the greatest champions in the game.
With this perspective in mind, I wrote the following list of attributes describing the mindset of a "player" back in 1982.
The Attitude of a "Player"
- A "player" not only attempts, but expects to post the lowest score of his career each and every time he tees it up.
- A "player" is determined to do whatever it takes to win, and is ready to play and outlast any opponent in any type of competition, under any condition, anytime, anywhere.
- A "player" is interested in only one thing on the golf course -- to post the lowest score humanly possible. The scoreboard does not care how, who, why, where, or how old -- only how many.
- A "player" never, ever quits or gives up. He is determined to finish every round he starts, come hell or high water.
- A "player" continually challenges himself to hit each golf shot better than his previous best attempt from a similar situation.
- A "player" is confident in his ability to produce an excellent golf shot, is cognizant of all the variables that can affect the shot, and understands the percentages involved in pulling off the shot.
- A "player" is "centered" in the present moment of time, absorbed in analysis of the present situation, and focused on producing the best possible shot that can be played under the present circumstances.
- A "player" is determined to maintain steady composure regardless of success or adversity encountered during a round.
- A "player" is hardened against distractions while playing, and will endure anything in the realm of imagination conspiring to disrupt his focus on the task at hand.
- A "player" plays at the same level of intensity, focus, and determination regardless of the pace of play, the playing conditions, or other disruptions encountered during a round.
- A "player" welcomes adverse weather conditions, and considers them to be to his advantage.
- A "player" adjusts to changing playing conditions, and is not affected by suspensions in play, awkward tee times, or anything unusual occurring during the course of play.
- A "player" will do everything in his power to reach a state of peak performance, and will work tirelessly to the limits of human endurance in the effort to achieve it.
- A "player" understands the effects of personal habits and lifestyle on achieving peak performance, and adjusts them accordingly to maximize his ability to maintain it.
- A "player" considers full compliance with the Rules of Golf a solemn obligation, and is prepared to call even the slightest breach of the Rules on himself during the course of play. Failure to do so demonstrates total disregard for the integrity of the game, and disqualifies him from all future competition.
- A "player" conducts himself with the utmost integrity both on and off the course, dressing and conducting himself as a professional, knowing that his appearance and demeanor is a reflection of his respect for the game and its traditions.
© Copyright 1982 Ken Carter
Additional Attitudes -- November 2008
- A "player" does not complain about the difficulty of a course, or whine about it being "unfair." He accepts the course as it is, knowing that the conditions are the same for everybody.
- A "player" realizes once he places his ball in play, there is no place on the course considered "safe." He must consider the ball to be in peril at all times, and take every possible precaution to protect it from disaster.
- A "player" considers himself personally and solely responsible for all of the mistakes he makes during play, and does not place the blame on his caddy, spectators, the course, or any other possible scapegoat real or imagined.
- A "player" considers a golf course to be an obstacle course in which the course designer and the tournament committee will do anything in their power to make it difficult, if not impossible, to break par. Given this realization, the player will do everything in his power to prove both the designer and the committee wrong.
- A "player" considers a bad break on the course to be an opportunity to develop both fortitude and character, traits which are the mark of maturity.
© Copyright 2008 Ken Carter