Just because some of your friends are better golfers than you
doesn’t mean that you have to end up buying drinks, paying money or
paying off in any other form. I won’t go into how John DeSantis, a
friend of mine, once had to go to work wearing red lipstick. But
perhaps if we apply some psychology at the right time we can limit
the depletion of our wallets, the wearing of lipstick or another
form of degrading scenario.
The Art of the Psyche
Just because some of your friends are better golfers than you doesn’t mean that you have to end up buying drinks, paying money or paying off in any other form. I won’t go into how John DeSantis, a friend of mine, once had to go to work wearing red lipstick. But perhaps if we apply some psychology at the right time we can limit the depletion of our wallets, the wearing of lipstick or another form of degrading scenario.
Before we start I want you to know that I am just the messenger not the creator; the information I pass on does not come from my head, it comes from history. Most of these techniques are not new. Psyching out your opponent has a long, glorious-yet-unappreciated history. One of the techniques you will read about came from, “Hints on Golf” by Horace Hutchinson and written in 1886.
Psyching out continues on today even on the PGA Tour. Can anyone who witnessed it ever forget the time when Lee Trevino threw a rubber snake down on the first tee near Jack Nicklaus just before their playoff started? Trevino had found out Nicklaus was afraid of snakes.
So when do you begin the psyching out? Generally, the best time is even before you step onto the course. You want to set the mood. On the way to the course you might tell your opponent that you have been getting sudden hic-up attacks. Emphasize the word, sudden. The best way to set the hook would be to have one of your attacks when you are putting, say on the first or second hole; this will cost you, but it should pay off later when your opponent is standing over a must-make three footer and worrying. This can work better than the, “do you breath in or out when you are putting?” ploy.
Now say you want to try the “I am playing in pain psyche.” Bad backs are the best. This needs to be planted in your opponent’s mind early. Be casual but mention your back has been bothering you. On the first tee, as you are putting the tee in the ground, make a face, something along the lines of what you would involuntarily make when seeing a puppy get run over by a dump truck.
This is the first part of “The Art of the Psyche” tips I will be doing, but I want to end with the oldest documented psyche I have found to date. In his book Hutchinson says, “If your adversary is badly bunkered, there is no rule against your standing over him and counting his strokes aloud, with increasing gusto as the numbers mount up; but it would be a wise precaution to arm yourself with the niblick before doing so, so as to meet him on equal terms.”
The first person to e-mail me with the right answer to this question will win a free video taped lesson with me. Are you allowed to carry more than one putter during a round? The answer needs to be complete. Good luck.
If you have any golf-related questions, from rules to club fitting, e-mail me at [email protected] Or, if you would like to read some of my past tips, you can do so at www.pinnaclenews.com. And don’t forget, if you’re not having fun call your local PGA or LPGA instructor. We will help, that’s what we love to do. It is the shortest distance between you and better golf.